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woeful

or woful

[woh-fuh l] /ˈwoʊ fəl/
adjective
1.
full of woe; wretched; unhappy:
a woeful situation.
2.
affected with, characterized by, or indicating woe:
woeful melodies.
3.
of wretched quality; sorry; poor:
a woeful collection of paintings.
Origin of woeful
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; see woe, -ful
Related forms
woefully, adverb
woefulness, noun
unwoeful, adjective
unwoefully, adverb
unwoefulness, noun
Synonyms
3. unpromising, unlikely, dreadful, awful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for woeful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this woeful situation, though extremely weak, I was not deprived of sense.

    Caleb Williams William Godwin
  • At length the frost and snow really did come, and the Chickadees were in a woeful case.

    Johnny Bear E. T. Seton
  • After all, he, even he, had not committed the most woeful of all blunders; though it was a mystery how he had escaped it.

    The Whirlpool George Gissing
  • And you cannot yet understand all the woeful sadness of the things of which I have been talking to you.

  • The servant ought not to be of woeful countenance before guests, but should receive them with an affable mind.

British Dictionary definitions for woeful

woeful

/ˈwəʊfəl/
adjective
1.
expressing or characterized by sorrow
2.
bringing or causing woe
3.
pitiful; miserable: a woeful standard of work
Derived Forms
woefully, adverb
woefulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for woeful
adj.

c.1300, "afflicted with sorrow," from woe + -ful. Weakened sense of "very bad" recorded by 1610s. Related: Woefully; woefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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