top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce woebegone (audio)

Dictionary definition of woebegone

Appearing extremely sad, distressed, or forlorn, often characterized by a haggard and dejected appearance.
"The abandoned puppy looked woebegone and hungry on the side of the road."

Detailed meaning of woebegone

When a person is described as woebegone, it implies that they are experiencing a profound and enduring state of sorrow or distress, often stemming from personal difficulties, hardships, or losses. This term conveys a sense of deep unhappiness and can be used to describe someone who looks utterly disheartened or worn down by life's challenges. For example, a person who has faced a series of setbacks and misfortunes may have a woebegone expression, reflecting their struggle to cope with adversity. "Woebegone" underscores the idea of a person's visible and pronounced state of emotional distress and suffering.

Example sentences containing woebegone

1. The woebegone look in his eyes revealed a troubled soul.
2. She appeared woebegone after the loss of her beloved pet.
3. The woebegone child clutched a tattered teddy bear for comfort.
4. His woebegone expression spoke of heartbreak and despair.
5. The old, woebegone house seemed abandoned by hope.
6. The woebegone artist's work was a reflection of inner turmoil.

History and etymology of woebegone

The adjective 'woebegone' has a fascinating etymology rooted in Old English. It combines two Old English words: 'wēa,' meaning 'woe' or 'sorrow,' and 'begān,' which signifies 'beset by' or 'surrounded by.' The term 'wēa' itself can be traced back to the Proto-Germanic root '*wai,' denoting 'pain' or 'woe.' So, 'woebegone' essentially means 'beset by woe' or 'overwhelmed by sorrow.' Over the centuries, this word has evolved to describe a person or thing that appears extremely sad, distressed, or forlorn, often characterized by a haggard and dejected appearance, reflecting the deep and enduring connection between the adjective and its etymological origins in sorrow and distress.

Quiz: Find the meaning of woebegone

Try Again!


Further usage examples of woebegone

1. Their woebegone faces showed the toll of sleepless nights.
2. He trudged through life with a woebegone disposition.
3. The woebegone landscape matched her somber mood.
4. The woebegone traveler longed for the comfort of home.
5. A woebegone melody filled the room, haunting and mournful.
6. The woebegone novel explored themes of loss and redemption.
7. The woebegone figure on the park bench went unnoticed by many.
8. Her woebegone story left a lasting impact on those who heard it.
9. The woebegone soldier returned from war, forever changed.
10. They exchanged woebegone glances, bound by shared sorrow.
11. The woebegone patient struggled to find hope in the hospital room.
12. The woebegone actor's performance moved the audience to tears.
13. The woebegone tree stood alone in the desolate field.
14. His woebegone smile revealed the weight of his burdens.
15. After the breakup, she spent several days feeling woebegone and lost.
16. The old man had a woebegone look on his face as he reminisced about his youth.
17. The city streets were full of woebegone people begging for money and food.
18. The woebegone expression on the child's face showed how upset he was about losing his favorite toy.
19. The detective's heart sank at the woebegone sight of the crime scene.
20. The war-torn village had a woebegone air, with buildings in ruins and people struggling to survive.
21. The rainy day seemed to put everyone in a woebegone mood.
22. The abandoned garden had a woebegone appearance, with overgrown weeds and wilted flowers.
23. The old, dilapidated house had a woebegone aura that made the real estate agent uneasy.
24. The loss of his job left him feeling woebegone and uncertain about his future.
25. The final scene of the tragic play left the audience feeling woebegone and tearful.



dejected, cheerful, happy, elated


GRE 1 (Graduate Record Examination), Discomfort and Distress, Sadness and Misery

bottom of page