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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce schadenfreude (audio)

Dictionary definition of schadenfreude

The feeling of pleasure or satisfaction that comes from the failure or misfortune of others.
"His constant schadenfreude made it challenging to maintain a positive friendship."

Detailed meaning of schadenfreude

German for "harm-joy." It is the emotion one feels when they take pleasure in someone else's misfortune, misfortune or misfortune. It is considered a negative emotion as it implies a lack of empathy and a desire for others to suffer.

Schadenfreude can manifest in different ways, from mild feelings of satisfaction when someone you dislike experiences a minor setback, to more intense feelings of joy when someone you dislike experiences a major misfortune. It can be triggered by a variety of situations, from petty rivalries to major conflicts, and it is often accompanied by feelings of envy or resentment.

Schadenfreude is not limited to any specific group of people, it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. It is a complex emotion that reflects on the individual's own insecurities, weaknesses and the way they relate to others. While it is a normal human emotion, it is considered as a negative emotion, because it implies a lack of empathy and a desire for others to suffer.

Example sentences containing schadenfreude

1. Schadenfreude is the feeling of joy or satisfaction derived from the misfortune of others.
2. It's important to avoid indulging in schadenfreude when someone faces difficulties.
3. Some people find it hard to admit they experience schadenfreude when a rival fails.
4. The comedian's humor often had a touch of gentle schadenfreude, poking fun at everyday mishaps.
5. Schadenfreude can be a way to cope with feelings of jealousy or envy towards others.
6. Schadenfreude can be a destructive emotion if not managed properly.

History and etymology of schadenfreude

The noun 'schadenfreude' has an interesting etymology rooted in German. It is a compound word, combining 'schaden,' meaning 'damage' or 'harm,' and 'freude,' which translates to 'joy' or 'pleasure.' Essentially, 'schadenfreude' means taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune or suffering. This term has been adopted into English to describe the specific feeling of deriving satisfaction or pleasure from the failure or misfortune of others. Its etymology reflects the notion of finding joy in another's harm, making it a word that encapsulates a complex and often controversial aspect of human psychology and emotions.

Quiz: Find the meaning of schadenfreude

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Further usage examples of schadenfreude

1. The gossip columnist's articles thrived on the public's appetite for schadenfreude.
2. She struggled to hide her schadenfreude when her co-worker made a costly mistake.
3. The internet can amplify and spread schadenfreude through viral videos and memes.
4. The character in the novel displayed a disturbing amount of schadenfreude.
5. The team's victory was marred by the opposing fans' schadenfreude when their star player got injured.
6. A healthy dose of humility can help combat feelings of schadenfreude.
7. The politician's downfall was met with a sense of schadenfreude by their political rivals.
8. The therapist encouraged her client to explore the root of their schadenfreude.
9. Social media platforms sometimes foster an environment where schadenfreude is encouraged.
10. Schadenfreude often arises when people compare themselves to others and feel superior.
11. The singer's dramatic fall on stage was met with gasps of shock, not schadenfreude.
12. The talk show host's mocking of celebrities sometimes bordered on schadenfreude.
13. It's essential to practice empathy and resist the temptation of schadenfreude when others stumble.
14. Schadenfreude can be a natural response, but it's important to examine its underlying causes.
15. The therapist worked with her clients to address their feelings of schadenfreude and promote empathy.



malice, empathy, sympathy, compassion


GRE 7 (Graduate Record Examination), SAT 19 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Expressions Of Emotion

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