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

Did you know?

Schadenfreude is a combination of the German nouns Schaden, meaning "damage" or "harm," and Freude, meaning "joy." So it makes sense that schadenfreude means joy over some harm or misfortune suffered by another.

Examples of schadenfreude in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Netflix’s swoon is being greeted with some schadenfreude, particularly among executives at legacy studios who had grown tired of hearing about how algorithms had made the traditional greenlight process, built on gut instincts, obsolete. Diane Garrett, Variety, 4 May 2022 In Russia, too, state media overflowed with schadenfreude, albeit tempered by concern about the Afghan debacle’s spillover into its fragile Central Asian allies. Jeremy Page, WSJ, 31 Aug. 2021 But instead of her usual teachings for Saturday service, Hannah delivered a homily of schadenfreude aimed directly at HBO Max, the enemy of Remnant and the Shamblin family. Kate Aurthur, Variety, 25 Aug. 2022 That tweet was resurfaced by many liberals on Tuesday, indulging in schadenfreude after Cawthorn conceded to state Sen. Chuck Edwards in a western North Carolina district. Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2022 People may be cynical about celebrity and indulge in schadenfreude when its pride is awarded the inevitable fall. Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2022 Back when the program stagnated, rival fans indulging in schadenfreude used to snicker and say the Wolverines needed a GPS to find Indianapolis, site of the Big Ten title game. Rainer Sabin, USA TODAY, 5 Dec. 2021 From Elizabeth Taylor's many divorces, to the loves (and lusts) of King Henry VIII, to modern obsessions like the couples of RHONY and, of course, Bennifer this show is sure to sate your schadenfreude appetite. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 6 Aug. 2022 Billionaire Bill Gross’ infamous fight with his Laguna Beach neighbor over a 22-foot sculpture was the stuff of schadenfreude legend — at least for those who enjoy reading about petty squabbles between the rich. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2022 See More

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.

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

7 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Schadenfreude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on schadenfreude

Nglish: Translation of schadenfreude for Spanish Speakers


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