woe betide definition
Define the meaning of the English word woe betide below. Woe betide is a verb. Examples of how to use woe betide in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .
From Early Modern English woe (“great sadness or distress; calamity, trouble”) + betide (“to happen to, befall”), formerly used to decry a person’s actions. Grammatically, it is a term the verb of which is in the subjunctive mood.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌwəʊ bɪˈtaɪd/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌwoʊ bəˈtaɪd/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: woe be‧tide
- (transitive, idiomatic, humorous or literary) Used to warn someone that trouble will occur if that person does something: bad things will happen to.
- Woe betide you if you try that with my sister again!
- c. 1588–1593, William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene ii], page 44, column 2:
- O gentle Aaron, we are all vndone. / Now helpe, or woe betide thee euermore.
- 1701, [William Pittis], “The Non-juring Clergyman”, in Chaucer’s Whims: Being Some Select Fables and Tales in Verse, Very Applicable to the Present Times; [...], London: […] D. Edwards, […], OCLC 15543127, page 8:
- Woe betide the Subſcribers, their Children and Wives, / This Action ſhall coſt 'em five hundred Folks Lives.
- 1865–1866, John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Mantle of St. John de Matha: A Legend of “The Red, White, and Blue,” A.D. 1154–1864”, in The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier […], London; Glasgow: Collins’ Clear-Type Press, published [1880s?], OCLC 223201803, stanza 9, page 375, column 2:
- "God save us!" cried the captain, / "For naught can man avail; / Oh, woe betide the ship that lacks / Her rudder and her sail!["]
- 1927 November, C[arlo] Collodi, chapter XXV, in Carol Della Chiesa, transl., The Adventures of Pinocchio […], New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company, published 1944, OCLC 832962827, page 123:
- A man, remember, whether rich or poor, should do something in this world. No one can find happiness without work. Woe betide the lazy fellow! Laziness is a serious illness and one must cure it immediately; yes, even from early childhood.
- 1989, Annie Woodhouse, “Conclusion: Transvestism and the Politics of Gender”, in Fantastic Women: Sex, Gender and Transvestism, Basingstoke, Hampshire; London: Macmillan Education, DOI:10.1007/978-1-349-20024-5, →ISBN, page 137:
- However, woebetide the male who takes that downward step into femininity.
- 2005, E[rnst] H[ans] Gombrich, “A Very Violent Revolution”, in Caroline Mustill, transl., A Little History of the World, New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, →ISBN, page 221:
- And woe betide the peasant who protested! He would be lucky to escape with a few blows across the face from his lord's riding whip, for a noble landowner was also his peasant's judge and could punish him as he pleased.
- 2019 September 11, Felicity Cloake, “How to make the perfect frying-pan pizza”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 13 July 2020:
- [W]oe betide the person who wanders into a temple of the Neapolitan pie and asks for a ham and pineapple, or indeed the fool who demands a thin and crispy base in old-school Chicago.