Something woeful is full of sadness, like the woeful little boy who can't find the stuffed bunny he needs to fall asleep.

Use the adjective woeful for people or things affected by misery or sorrow. A woeful expression on your face shows you're sad, and a woeful performance in the big kickball game means your team did so badly that you feel miserable about it. Woeful comes from woe, "great sorrow," and its source, the Old English interjection wa. This ancient woeful expression is still used in many languages today.

Definitions of woeful
  1. adjective
    affected by or full of grief or woe
    synonyms: woebegone
    experiencing or marked by or expressing sorrow especially that associated with irreparable loss
  2. adjective
    of very poor quality or condition
    woeful treatment of the accused”
    woeful errors of judgment”
    synonyms: deplorable, execrable, miserable, wretched
    of low or inferior quality
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