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 That's a rarity for reality television, a genre that has historically sacrificed the devastated for a delicious bit of schadenfreude. Ashley Lee,, "Netflix filmed her surprise divorce. Now she’s ready to ‘rip off the Band-Aid’," 7 Aug. 2020 Broadway's biggest hits typically enjoy full houses and lengthy, lucrative runs, while its biggest flops suffer through schadenfreude and speculation as to what went wrong. Author: Elizabeth L. Wollman, Anchorage Daily News, "Five myths about Broadway," 11 July 2020 The turmoil in America after George Floyd's brutal murder by a cop is giving authoritarian rulers around the world a serious bout of schadenfreude. Shikha Dalmia, TheWeek, "What makes America exceptional," 2 July 2020 For those who enjoy schadenfreude, Bolton’s current legal situation should be a goldmine. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "John Bolton: American Coward," 18 June 2020 These series conjured powerful, primal feelings in their heyday, whether that was loathing, schadenfreude or joy. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Way too 'Extreme': Trashy reality shows' comeback makes TV revolting again," 26 Feb. 2020 Finebaum seemed to delight in the schadenfreude that accompanied one of the lowest moments of Harbaugh’s tenure. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "That time Michigan's Jim Harbaugh nearly settled his feud with SEC apologist Paul Finebaum," 30 Dec. 2019 And there have been moments when it’s felt as if Woods was luxuriating in the justness, in schadenfreude. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "A Tolerable Redemption for Tiger Woods," 13 June 2019 Three years ago, when the now viral video hit the internet of a father in a live television interview interrupted by two stumbling toddlers, professionals with kids around the globe laughed tears of schadenfreude. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, "Work and parent at the same time? A crisis highlights 'dual lives.'," 31 Mar. 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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Time Traveler for schadenfreude

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The first known use of schadenfreude was in 1868

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Last Updated

19 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Schadenfreude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for schadenfreude


How to pronounce schadenfreude (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of schadenfreude

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

More from Merriam-Webster on schadenfreude

Nglish: Translation of schadenfreude for Spanish Speakers

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