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[woo] /wu/
verb (used with object)
to seek the favor, affection, or love of, especially with a view to marriage.
Synonyms: court, pursue, chase.
to seek to win:
to woo fame.
Synonyms: cultivate.
to invite (consequences, whether good or bad) by one's own action; court:
to woo one's own destruction.
to seek to persuade (a person, group, etc.), as to do something; solicit; importune.
verb (used without object)
to seek the affection or love of someone, usually a woman; court:
He was reminded of his youth when he went wooing.
to solicit favor or approval; entreat:
Further attempts to woo proved useless.
Origin of woo
before 1050; Middle English wowe, Old English wōgian
Related forms
wooer, noun
wooingly, adverb
unwooed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wooing
  • Maybe the song isn't for wooing but for broadcasting a challenge, as when a bull elk bugles across the mountainsides.
  • The culmination of wooing, the actual mating, took place in trees nearby.
  • Still, persuading faculty members to donate their time to the oft-draining task of wooing teenagers isn't always easy.
  • Few presidential job skills are as important as wooing prospective donors and, for public-college presidents, state lawmakers.
  • It's patrolled by a closely knit group of street musicians wooing the night, which begins at six and ends at two.
  • Quite where wooing goes to persuasion goes to coercion is going to be at different points to different people.
  • wooing must be difficult if you can't even be sure the other party is there.
  • Meanwhile, the pale lizard starts wooing, making rapid shuddering movements and starting little romantic chases.
  • They allow corporations to display technological machismo, wooing consumers to trust their cars and stereos.
  • Yet they have been coy about whether they're succeeding in wooing partners.
British Dictionary definitions for wooing


verb woos, wooing, wooed
to seek the affection, favour, or love of (a woman) with a view to marriage
(transitive) to seek after zealously or hopefully: to woo fame
(transitive) to bring upon oneself (good or evil results) by one's own action
(transitive) to beg or importune (someone)
Derived Forms
wooer, noun
wooing, noun
Word Origin
Old English wōgian, of obscure origin
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 wooing



Old English wogian, of uncertain origin and with no known cognates; perhaps related to woh, wog- "bent, inclined," as with affection.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for wooing

wonky 2


Tedious and serious, esp anxious and over-studious in an academic situation: ''Jenny Cavilleri,'' answered Ray. ''Wonky music type''/ a class which I have long dismissed as hopelessly wonky

[1970s+ Students; fr wonk]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with wooing


see: pitch woo
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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