Definition of woo in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Try to gain the love of (someone, typically a woman), especially with a view to marriage.

    ‘he wooed her with quotes from Shakespeare’
    • ‘Morris says he has always loved and been interested in women, but just wishes he had had a copy of this book when he was a young man wooing the women of Swindon.’
    • ‘A sound mind woos a woman much more than a flashy car would.’
    • ‘The research shows that the best mimics with the broadest repertoire were most successful at wooing the females.’
    • ‘There have been reports of dozens of roses, love letters and chocolates wooing the female of the species.’
    • ‘A dozen red roses will be a popular choice among men wanting to woo the woman in their life.’
    • ‘In a mixture of English and French Harry woos Catherine, assuring her that he loves France so well that he means to keep it, and on her concession that she will marry him if her father agrees he kisses her, much to her shock.’
    • ‘You are a man who knows how to woo a woman with sweet nothings, ply her with charm.’
    • ‘Nigel started writing poems 18 months ago, when he was trying to woo a woman, and realised he had uncovered a hidden talent.’
    • ‘Not wanting to break their cover they took turns to woo the unwitting woman.’
    • ‘I knew that I would need to tame her, woo her, gain her trust as if she was a gentle doe.’
    • ‘He wooed Frances Leonard with adoring love letters, which he continued to write until the end of his life.’
    • ‘So, in his early days, did he ever try to woo women into bed with verse?’
    • ‘It is in front of Hortensio's house that Petruchio finds his friend and is persuaded to woo Kate.’
    • ‘He would have wooed her, loved her and married her.’
    • ‘Lucentio, Hortensio, and Gremio are all in love with her and go to desperate measures to woo her.’
    • ‘Having befriended the monstrous Lelio, she agrees to rescue him from the marital clutches of a middle-aged countess by wooing the lady herself.’
    • ‘Isn't it terrific to see someone from the area doing so well and obviously wooing the ladies along the way!’
    • ‘In the romantic comedy, Smith plays a New York date doctor who helps men woo the women of their dreams.’
    • ‘For a brief period, Arthur had been willing to allot $5 of his earnings per month to pleasure activities in the hope of wooing a lady.’
    • ‘Not only that, but Christian wasn't exactly a romantic, nor did he have any experience of wooing a woman.’
    court, pay court to, pursue, chase, chase after, run after
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Seek the favor, support, or custom of.
      ‘pop stars are being wooed by film companies eager to sign them up’
      • ‘On Ashoka Road for instance, Rama along with her grandson Kunwar Pal, can be seen wooing customers from under a tree.’
      • ‘The Government of Dubai has also come out with attractive brochures and leaflets to woo shoppers and tourists.’
      • ‘Any presidential candidate has had to woo support from the northern and eastern industrial cities.’
      • ‘With young families to support, the founders concentrated on wooing those deep-pocketed companies.’
      • ‘And fellow band member Sarah Harding said one glittering star tried to woo all five members of the band.’
      • ‘Banks too are not to be left behind in wooing the hesitant customer.’
      • ‘A new store woos American furniture buyers with Italian design for every room of the house.’
      • ‘Afternoon tea, for example, at the legendary Reid's Palace Hotel is just one of a range of charming social customs that woos tourists.’
      • ‘The move is apparently aimed at wooing the support of residents in the region prior to next April's general elections.’
      • ‘The actress made her first political appearance, smiling endlessly and used her star appeal to woo the voters.’
      • ‘He sought to use his own devout Catholicism to woo back the lost voters, but with little success.’
      • ‘Political parties have roped in Bollywood stars only to woo the young.’
      • ‘Even they though are underplayed these days, as hockey seeks to woo that elusive grail - the family audience.’
      • ‘It's clear Howard is seeking to woo the Catholic constituency this year.’
      • ‘Wiranto denied that his visit was a move to woo support from Hamengkubuwono and Golkar constituents in the province.’
      • ‘But he was courted and wooed by Israel's top officials, including Moshe Dayan himself, to return and help promote the sport in Israel.’
      • ‘What does it take to woo the 40-something customer back into your store?’
      • ‘But having written best sellers and got to the top of the best seller lists obviously your income has jumped hugely and you're also being wooed by American film producers.’
      • ‘The colourful exhibition with the price tag woos customers of all classes.’
      • ‘Nurochman denied the meeting was part of a strategy for the pair to woo Golkar support.’
      seek the support of, seek the favour of, try to win, try to attract, try to cultivate, chase, pursue, try to ingratiate oneself with, curry favour with
      View synonyms


Late Old English wōgian (intransitive), āwōgian (transitive), of unknown origin.