noun, often capitalized
scha·​den·​freu·​de | \ ˈshä-dᵊn-ˌfrȯi-də How to pronounce schadenfreude (audio) \

Definition of schadenfreude

: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

Examples of schadenfreude in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The unbearable tension of the trial was replaced with a mix of release, shock, ecstasy, optimism, joy, caution and schadenfreude. Clyde Mcgrady, Washington Post, "‘I can’t believe it’: After a guilty verdict, a whoosh of relief in Minneapolis," 21 Apr. 2021 There is perhaps no story that has brought out more schadenfreude than the downfall of Rep. Matt Gaetz. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, "Seeking Arrangements: What’s the Sugar Baby Site Allegedly Used by Matt Gaetz?," 2 Apr. 2021 With clinical precision, these accounts pick apart transformations, poking a hole in the illusion of perfection and thriving on the schadenfreude that results. Alex Peters, Vogue, "Is Our Cultural Obsession With Celebrity Transformations Ruining Our Self-Esteem?," 31 Mar. 2021 If there is schadenfreude among ships, the YM Wish was perhaps not feeling it. New York Times, "Ship Is Freed After a Costly Lesson in the Vulnerabilities of Sea Trade," 29 Mar. 2021 Sometimes, though, the thrill is tinged with schadenfreude. New York Times, "In Indianapolis, Checking the Bracket Means Looking Up," 25 Mar. 2021 For its part, the British press greeted the Oprah appearance with a predictable blend of titillated schadenfreude and bad-faith indignation. Matt Seaton, The New York Review of Books, "The Great Disenchantment: Harry, Meghan & the Monarchy," 9 Mar. 2021 Investors and startup founders, vowing to make their sabbaticals permanent, share their schadenfreude via tweet from the beaches of San Diego and Miami under the hashtag #techexodus. Gregory Barber, Wired, "If Work Is Going Remote, Why Is Big Tech Still Building?," 16 Feb. 2021 Think of it as an inversion of the German term schadenfreude, that gleeful sense of pleasure in someone else’s pain. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "Klyde Warren Park’s splashy proposed fountain is a design belly flop," 11 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'schadenfreude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of schadenfreude

1868, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for schadenfreude

German, from Schaden damage + Freude joy

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The first known use of schadenfreude was in 1868

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Schadenfreude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of schadenfreude

formal : a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people

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Nglish: Translation of schadenfreude for Spanish Speakers

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