noun, often capitalized
scha·​den·​freu·​de | \ˈshä-dᵊn-ˌfrȯi-də \

Definition of schadenfreude 

: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

Examples of schadenfreude in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Your anger or indignation or gleeful schadenfreude is only one drop in a great countrywide wave of it. Steven Hyden, New York Times, "Is the National ‘Mood’ the One in Polls or the One Online?," 2 July 2018 But Brazil will be the team going deeper in this World Cup after qualifying for the knockout round later on Wednesday, and some Brazilians were in no mood to deprive themselves of a little schadenfreude. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Germany Crashes Out of World Cup With a Loss to South Korea," 28 June 2018 While New York officials reacted soberly to Schneiderman's departure, those in President Donald Trump's inner circle oozed schadenfreude on social media. NBC News, "New York prosecutors probing ousted A.G. Schneiderman as governor calls allegations 'disturbing'," 8 May 2018 For anyone who works for a beleaguered professional news organization — over which the revenue-sucking, content-stealing Facebook has reigned of late with a palpable glee — there was major schadenfreude to be had on Thursday. Chris Jones,, "Delete Facebook and save your friends: What Mark Zuckerberg's shocking admissions can teach us about social media," 22 Mar. 2018 The episode unleashed plenty of schadenfreude, and some criticism, on social media. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "A Far-Right Leader Went for a Swim in Germany. His Clothes Went for a Walk.," 6 June 2018 An audience must be able to recognize the exceedingly uncomfortable nature of an exchange while also indulging in a scoop of schadenfreude. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "This viral news segment about an inflatable slide is an exquisite train wreck," 5 June 2018 South Korea often brims with schadenfreude when a chaebol scion is publicly humiliated. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "Sister of Korean ‘Nut Rage’ Heiress Accused of Throwing Her Own Tantrum," 13 Apr. 2018 But while some of this week's memes were similarly dada genius ... ... many others were pure schadenfreude: Senators and Censorship Zuckerberg wasn't the only one to have his foibles under the internet's microscope. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Mark Zuckerberg's Testimony Birthed an Oddly Promising Memepocalypse," 11 Apr. 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

2 Nov 2018

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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

: 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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What made you want to look up schadenfreude? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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