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Word of the Day
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Definitions for woebegone

  1. Beset or overwhelmed with woe; immersed in grief or sorrow; woeful.
  2. Being in a sorry condition; dismal-looking; dilapidated; run-down.

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Citations for woebegone
Socrates, condemned to death by the people of Athens, prepares to drink a cup of hemlock, surrounded by woebegone friends. Alain De Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy
This woebegone lot includes Henry, a real-estate developer whose dream project has, like his marriage, slipped into bankruptcy; Henry's sister, Wiloma, who has hurled herself headlong into the arms of a New Age church to survive her own divorce; and Henry and Wiloma's decrepit Uncle Brendan, a former monk whose faith has eroded along with his health, stranding him in a nursing home. Jennifer Howard, New York Times
Origin of woebegone
1300-1350
Woebegone is from Middle English wo begon, from wo (from Old English wa, used to express grief) + begon, past participle of begon, "to go about, to beset," from Old English began, bigan, from bi-, "around, about" + gan, "to go."