[ shahd-n-froi-duh ]
/ ˈʃɑd nˌfrɔɪ də /


satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.

Nearby words

  1. scg,
  2. sch-,
  3. sch.,
  4. sch.mus.b.,
  5. schacht,
  6. schaerbeek,
  7. schaerf,
  8. schafer method,
  9. schaffhausen,
  10. schafskopf

Origin of schadenfreude

1890–95; < German, equivalent to Schaden harm + Freude joy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for schadenfreude

British Dictionary definitions for schadenfreude


/ German (ˈʃaːdənfrɔydə) /


delight in another's misfortune

Word Origin for Schadenfreude

German: from Schaden harm + Freude joy

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for schadenfreude



"malicious joy in the misfortunes of others," 1922, German Schadenfreude, literally "damage-joy," from schaden "damage, harm, injury" (see scathe) + freude, from Old High German frewida "joy," from fro "happy," literally "hopping for joy," from Proto-Germanic *frawa- (see frolic).

What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one such a word is found. ... In the Greek epikhairekakia, in the German, 'Schadenfreude.' [Richard C. Trench, "On the Study of Words," 1852]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper