• WordNet 3.6
    • adj woeful affected by or full of grief or woe "his sorrow...made him look...haggard and...woebegone"- George du Maurier"
    • adj woeful of very poor quality or condition "deplorable housing conditions in the inner city","woeful treatment of the accused","woeful errors of judgment"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Woeful Bringing calamity, distress, or affliction; as, a woeful event; woeful want. "O woeful day! O day of woe!"
    • Woeful Full of woe; sorrowful; distressed with grief or calamity; afflicted; wretched; unhappy; sad. "How many woeful widows left to bow
      To sad disgrace!"
    • Woeful Wretched; paltry; miserable; poor. "What woeful stuff this madrigal would be!"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • woeful Full of woe; distressed with grief or calamity; afflicted; sorrowful.
    • woeful Relating or pertaining to woe; expressing woe; characterized by sorrow or woe; deplorable.
    • woeful Wretched; paltry; mean; pitiful.
    • woeful =Syn.2. Mournful, calamitous, disastrous, afflictive, miserable, grievous. See woe.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Woeful (Scot.) sorrowful: bringing calamity: wretched
    • ***


  • D. H. Lawrence
    “I cannot cure myself of that most woeful of youth's follies -- thinking that those who care about us will care for the things that mean much to us.”
  • Thomas Fuller
    “Willful waste brings woeful want.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. (interj.) ; Ger. weh; L. , Gr. ouai. Cf. Wail.


In literature:

A woeful residence it was; for now began the fourteen terrible years of my darling's passion.
"The Well in the Desert" by Emily Sarah Holt
I'm woeful thirsty this morning.
"The White Chief" by Mayne Reid
That evening, Bertram told the details of that woeful story.
"The White Rose of Langley" by Emily Sarah Holt
At length, however, the antagonists separated, both presenting a woeful appearance.
"Tales of the Sea" by W.H.G. Kingston
"The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols)" by Thomas De Quincey
Before Marsile, his spouse, Queen Bramimunde, Bursts into tears, and cries, and woeful moans.
"La Chanson de Roland" by Léon Gautier
Having heard his woeful relation through, I did what any one entitled to the name of man, would have done under the like circumstances.
"Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman" by William L. Stone
Perhaps she might have looked less terribly wan and woeful if she had done so.
"Earl Hubert's Daughter" by Emily Sarah Holt
Thy song wafts me upon the tranquil fields of calm When jackals born of woeful cares within me howl.
"Life Immovable" by Kostes Palamas
The war was protracted beyond all early expectation; it was costly, bitter, woeful.
"The Negro and the Nation" by George S. Merriam

In poetry:

There all the traiterous men were slaine,
Not one escapte away;
And there dyed all my vallyant knightes.
Alas! that woefull day!
"The Legend of King Arthur" by Thomas Percy
Sad mother, weeping for thy child,
A woeful mother shares thy mourning
My son, too, strayed into the wild,
I sought, but hope not, his returning.
"The Black Snakes" by Janet Hamilton
"Dense are the crowds, and distracting is the strife,
A wrestle, and a bustle, and a battle to the knife;
Alas! for the woefulness and weariness of life,
To be but as one among the million!
"One Among The Million" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
"I know to Belsen they were sent;
I never heard of them again.
So many were like that - they went,
Our woeful quest was all in vain.
I was in London with a friend,
Or I, too, would have shared their end.
"The Locket" by Robert W Service
I came upon a mansion bright,
From every window streamed the light;
Sweet strains of music reached my ear,
And peals of laughter loud and clear.
"Ah! this gay throng, I quickly see,
Would be no place for woeful me."
"Imogene" by Eloise Alberta Bibb
Sons of England, noble England, Scotia tells a woeful tale;
And from all the land of Erin, comes a moan upon the gale;
Out of billow-seated Erin, wakes a wild and fearful cry,
"Noble sons of noble England, we of hunger faint and die.
"An Appeal on the Potatoe Famine" by Samuel Bamford

In news:

The woeful Colts could use the sex appeal of the most alluring woman of 2012.
Ryan remains bullish despite Jets' woeful offense.
Sundance reflected our woeful world.
The woeful Raiders threw for 368 yards against them.
A-Rod homers The Yankees' woeful start to the season became even more of a memory Friday when they won their fourth straight game, beating the Angels 5-0 in their home opener in The Bronx.
There are any number of woeful statistics that you can cherry-pick to capture the awfulness of America's employment market.
The Washington Capitals get stunned on ice by a woeful divison foe in the Carolina Hurricanes.
The woeful Miami Heat, who had a 25 percent chance of getting the No.
Palmer poised to take advantage of woeful Saints defense.
Cowboys' D heals vs woeful Bucs.
CU Buffs' offense woeful vs Stanford.
Woeful Astros in a league of their own.
Faldon's Five Thoughts: Wilson's Woeful Day.
Woeful shooting in LSU vs OSU game.
With Little to Play For, Maryland Offers Woeful Effort in Charlottesville.