Trend Watch



Lookups spiked on June 13, 2011


Schadenfreude means "enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others."

The word was used by various commentators to describe the emotions some basketball fans experienced when the Miami Heat and their star LeBron James lost the NBA championship to the Dallas Mavericks.

James had left his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, not exactly in a modest fashion, to improve his chances of winning a championship. As New York magazine put it: "Last night's Mavericks win gave America one more night to revel in LeBron James schadenfreude."

It comes from the German words for "damage" and "joy."

How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears