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 For workers, that has meant bemusement—and in some cases, a dose of schadenfreude as well. Te-ping Chen, WSJ, 20 July 2021 Yet as several journalists have suggested, WeWork’s precipitous change in fortunes cannot be explained through the Neumanns’ hubris or delusion alone, though their fall provides ample material for schadenfreude. Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, 6 July 2021 There also has to be some level of schadenfreude towards OKC fans who were rooting for the coin to land the other way. Robert Charles, Chron, 23 June 2021 Defeat for Germany, then, would come with a side order of schadenfreude from Brexit-loving middle Englanders. Dan Stewart, Time, 28 June 2021 But rather than devote themselves to talking up an asset, Butters do the opposite, schadenfreude firmly established as the group’s lingua franca. Abram Brown, Forbes, 26 June 2021 Trolls tend to be anti-social and drawn to what psychologists call schadenfreude (meaning, pleasure from the misfortune of others). John Brandon, Forbes, 28 June 2021 Distinct phenomena—envy, sadism, schadenfreude, reckless idealism, world-historical malice—get flattened. Charlie Tyson, The Atlantic, 13 May 2021 There is almost no schadenfreude in the Matt Gaetz downfall. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, 20 May 2021

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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Schaeffer's acid

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Schadenfreude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on schadenfreude

Nglish: Translation of schadenfreude for Spanish Speakers


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