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

  • adj. Affected with or marked by deep sorrow, grief, or wretchedness. See Synonyms at sad.
  • adj. Of an inferior or deplorable condition: a rundown, woebegone old shack.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. In a deplorable state.
  • adj. Filled with or deeply affected by woe.


Middle English wo begon, beset with woe : wo, woe; see woe + begon, past participle of begon, to beset (from Old English begān : be-, be- + gān, to go; see go1).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English, “woe has beset me”, from wo ("woe") + begon ("to beset, to surround") (Wiktionary)



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