Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To seek the affection of with intent to romance.
  • transitive v. To seek to achieve; try to gain.
  • transitive v. To tempt or invite.
  • transitive v. To entreat, solicit, or importune.
  • intransitive v. To court a woman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. Expressing joy or mirth; woohoo, yahoo.
  • v. To endeavor to gain someone's support.
  • v. (of a man) To try to persuade a woman to marry him.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To court; to make love.
  • transitive v. To solicit in love; to court.
  • transitive v. To court solicitously; to invite with importunity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To court; seek the favor, affection, or love of, especially with a view to marriage; solicit or seek in marriage.
  • To solicit; sue; ask with importunity; seek to influence or persuade; invite; endeavor to prevail upon to do or to grant something.
  • To seek; seek to obtain or bring about; act as if seeking to obtain or bring about.
  • To court; make love; sue in love.
  • To ask; seek; solicit.
  • An old spelling of woe.
  • n. A Scotch form of wool.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. seek someone's favor
  • v. make amorous advances towards

Etymologies

Middle English wowen, from Old English wōgian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English wowen, woȝen, from Old English wōgian ("to woo, court, marry"), of uncertain origin. Cognate with Scots wow ("to woo"). Perhaps related to Old English wōg, wōh ("bending, crookedness"), in the specific sense of "bend or incline one toward oneself". If so, then derived from Proto-Germanic *wanhō (“a bend, angle”), from Proto-Indo-European *wonk- (“crooked, bent”), from Proto-Indo-European *wā- (“to bend, twist, turn”); related to Old Norse  ("corner, angle"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Also means pseudo-science, in the slang of sceptics.

    December 2, 2008

  • "Something in the way she moves
    Attracts me like no other lover;
    Something in the way she woos me..."
    - George Harrison.

    October 6, 2008