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woeful Syllabification: woe·ful
Pronunciation: /ˈwōfəl/

Definition of woeful in English:


1Characterized by, expressive of, or causing sorrow or misery: her face was woeful
More example sentences
  • He sounded so woeful, his expression so longing, that I had felt sympathy for him.
  • He felt a tug on his heart as he watched her face, her woeful expression silhouetted by the moonlight.
  • He used to draw woeful crowds, especially to the Square above.
tragic, sad, miserable, cheerless, gloomy, sorry, pitiful, pathetic, traumatic, depressing, heartbreaking, heart-rending, tear-jerking, gut-wrenching
1.1Very bad; deplorable: the remark was enough to establish his woeful ignorance about the theater
More example sentences
  • Last weekend's wet, wild and woeful trip to gloomy south Wales did turn out to have a silver lining for at least one Borders player.
  • The committee concluded that the paper trail on this whole sorry transaction was woeful.
  • Hopefully, the pathetic and woeful situation that has been allowed to arise will bring people to their senses, at least on the playing side.
substandard, poor, inadequate, inferior, unsatisfactory
informal rotten, appalling, crummy, pathetic, pitiful, lousy, abysmal, dire, crappy, lame, brutal



Pronunciation: /ˈwōfəlē/
[as submodifier]: the police response was woefully inadequate
More example sentences
  • The colonels have woefully inadequate resources and lack the will to roust their adversaries.
  • As it currently stands the allowance is woefully inadequate and would not heat a house for two days let alone a week.
  • I thought it was terrible, woefully removed from the common man or woman in terms of the price of some of the clothes.


Pronunciation: /ˈwōfəlnəs/
Example sentences
  • The editor is noted for addressing hacks at their end-of-term bash in a speech widely noted for its spectacular woefulness.
  • And, really, the only bright spot of yesterday for United, who are fast slipping into pre-McCall woefulness, was that they broke their duck against Hearts.
  • Small wonder modern heavy rock gets such a ribbing when it goes and gets itself involved in woefulness like this.

Words that rhyme with woeful

joyful • rueful • useful

Definition of woeful in:

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Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive