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

Show up for the schadenfreude and stay to find out. Los Angeles Times, "This week of star-studded book events features Salman Rushdie, Colson Whitehead and Emily Nussbaum," 13 Sep. 2019 It's been more than two years since the epic social media schadenfreude that was Fyre Festival, but the drama and fallout is still going strong. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and Other Stars Are Officially Being Sued Over Fyre Festival Payments," 1 Sep. 2019 Ahh, yes, another celebration, this one not so laden with schadenfreude as just pure, well, bemusement?, "LMAO: The Best Memes & Funnies From Around European Football This Gameweek," 27 Aug. 2019 The busts offer tales of danger and vengeance, and there’s nothing the internet loves more than schadenfreude. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "There’s a global movement of Facebook vigilantes who hunt pedophiles," 24 July 2019 Likewise, anonymity allows trolls to practice cruelty without consequences, and public online forums reward outrage and schadenfreude. Washington Post, "Empathy is on the decline in this country. A new book describes what we can do to bring it back.," 11 June 2019 The wreckage of America’s political climate, mixed with social media and online bullying, can seem like a schadenfreude buffet. K.n.c., The Economist, "How to increase empathy and unite society," 7 June 2019 There's schadenfreude at play in that enjoyment, too, of course. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "2019 Needed a Hit as Bleak as Chernobyl," 4 June 2019 Stories about student loan borrowers with six-figure debt loads might shock us, intrigue us or appeal to our deep-seated sense of financial schadenfreude. Brianna Mcgurran, The Seattle Times, "Ask Brianna: When a student debt becomes a lot of trouble," 2 Oct. 2018

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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Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for schadenfreude

The first known use of schadenfreude was in 1868

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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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