grievous distress, affliction, or trouble: His woe was almost beyond description.
an affliction: She suffered a fall, among her other woes.
an exclamation of grief, distress, or lamentation.

before 900; Middle English wo (interjection and noun), Old English (interjection) (cf. wellaway); cognate with Dutch wee, German Weh, Old Norse vei, Latin vae

1. anguish, tribulation, trial, wretchedness, melancholy. See sorrow.

1. joy.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
woe (wəʊ)
1.  literary intense grief or misery
2.  (often plural) affliction or misfortune
3.  woe betide someone misfortune will befall someone: woe betide you if you arrive late
4.  archaic Also: woe is me an exclamation of sorrow or distress
[Old English wā, wǣ; related to Old Saxon, Old High German wē, Old Norse vei, Gothic wai, Latin vae, Sanskrit uvē; see wail]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. wa, a common exclamation of lament in many languages (cf. L. væ, Gk. oa, Ger. weh, Lettish wai, O.Ir. fe, Welsh gwae, Armenian vay). The noun is attested from c.1175, from the interjection.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Remember, the earthquake and tsunami brought woe and suffering in this instance
  to these horses.
Genius expects to get its way, and woe be unto those who disagree.
Neuroscientists and engineers in the area of implant technologies offer a
  similar tale of woe.
Woe is me for the by-gone days when everyone read the dictionary and the world
  was filled with monocle-wearing, tweedy professors.
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