Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Sadness over the evils of the world, especially as an expression of romantic pessimism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Literally, world-pain, or world-woe; weariness of life in general; in particular, a sentimental melancholy or pessimism; Wertherism.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. sadness on thinking about the evils of the world

Etymologies

German : Welt, world; see Weltanschauung + Schmerz, pain (from Middle High German smërze, from Old High German smerzo).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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