from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. World-weariness; an apathetic or pessimistic view of life; depression concerning or discomfort with the human condition or state of the world.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Loanword from German Weltschmerz, literally Welt ("world") + Schmerz ("ache, pain").


  • Both girls seemed to know all the words and spelled them with few questions, until Fiola paused a long and hard before making the gaffe of spelling "weltschmerz" with a "v" ... when she knew it was German!

    Archive 2006-06-01

  • Considering "weltschmerz," which allegedly means world-weariness or hip ennui.

    the imbroglio

  • "In John le Carré, of whom I'm a fantastic admirer, there was a weltschmerz that came from them knowing they weren't better than the enemy."

    David Hare: 'It's absurd, but I feel insecure'

  • Lots of those German things like angst and weltschmerz came to mind when watching Match of the Day on Saturday night, particularly angst, which the Urban Dictionary defines as a "transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation", and illustrates with a picture of Roy Hodgson.

    Roy Hodgson's scream for help was a Match of the Day masterpiece | Martin Kelner

  • But you would have to be consumed with schadenfreude, weltschmerz or one of those other German things to wish that on any of the celebs here, who seemed pleasant enough in a telly kind of way.

    Channel Four's Famous and Fearless was utterly pointless | Martin Kelner

  • This Dublin trio's Sting-soundalike leader, Danny O'Donoghue, says the follow-up to their 2m-selling debut was inspired by "the journey from a feeling of devastation in the pit of my stomach", which might prime you for Leonard Cohen-ish weltschmerz, rather than manicured Celt-rock.

    The Script: Science and Faith

  • And while anger, fervor, despair, not to mention weltschmerz and ennui we are, after all the party of uppity francophiles and -- apparently -- left-wing Nazi socialists are all common reactions to this undeniable setback for a progressive agenda, let me suggest another, less acknowledged reaction: comfort.

    Nicholas Brown: The Kilgore Trout Effect

  • Ramirez was like a goddman wall, six four of muscle and urban weltschmerz.

    Babylon Nights

  • I know we know this, but it bears repeating, if only to stave off weltschmerz and numbness.

    Ellis Weiner: The Noble Eightfold Path Away from The Path to 9/11

  • Carmen Burkhart's weltschmerz is giving me a bit of a schwerpunkt.

    Moxie: Who Needs It?


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  • Does anyone know whether this form or weltschmertz is more common? Assuming they mean the same thing.

    May 2, 2011

  • Great word!

    June 30, 2009

  • now this is a good word.

    March 20, 2009

  • This is my favorite new word!

    December 18, 2008

  • I'm grieved that so few are familiar with the term.

    October 11, 2008

  • This seems to be used particularly when referring to the suffering of privileged youth.

    August 7, 2008

  • mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state

    March 26, 2007