Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else's misfortune.

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

  • noun delight in another person's misfortune

Etymologies

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

[German : Schaden, damage (from Middle High German schade, from Old High German scado) + Freude, joy (from Middle High German vreude, from Old High German frewida, from frō, happy).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from German Schadenfreude ("joy in the suffering of others")

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • why take pleasure in this word/ other people's suffering. Or wow, other people's lists of insipid words: "sash, dash cash"? Let's have some sapidity, please!

    December 2, 2006

  • . . . promotes the meaning of this word every day and every minute and in every way . . .

    December 3, 2006

  • Or the English version, epicaricacy.

    December 3, 2006

  • Best used in Avenue Q.

    December 6, 2006

  • laugharn brilliantly named schoenfraun schadenfreude's sad emo cousin.

    December 7, 2006

  • Also, the only equivalent phrase (that I am aware of) in English is Lucretian joy

    December 7, 2006

  • The next time I see someone fall on the ice I am going to help them up.

    December 7, 2006

  • Schadenfreude seems to be one of the most primal pleasures. Television shows abound are filled with examples: man falls off ladder, child flies off swing, bucket falls onto woman. In one sense it is a valuble learning experience: you are glad you weren't in that position, and make a note not to be in it yourself. But why is it so funny? The only answer I can give is that it expresses the joy you have, build in by millenia of evolutionary conditioning, that you were not the weak one who ended the chain, that, whilst others may fail, you go on to live another day.

    December 7, 2006

  • Overrated word that has caught on wildly in an age when people giggle at the "Darwin Awards," etc.

    December 31, 2006

  • I'm willing to bet that schadenfreude stays on the most wordied, past seven days list because it is always listed on the homepage. Akimbo went through a similar period.

    February 11, 2007