or welt·schmerz

[ velt-shmerts ]
/ ˈvɛltˌʃmɛrts /

noun German.

sorrow that one feels and accepts as one's necessary portion in life; sentimental pessimism.

Origin of Weltschmerz

literally, world-pain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for weltschmerz

British Dictionary definitions for weltschmerz


/ German (ˈvɛltʃmɛrts) /


sadness or melancholy at the evils of the world; world-weariness

Word Origin for Weltschmerz

literally: world pain
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 weltschmerz



"pessimism about life," 1875, from German Weltschmerz, coined 1810 by Jean Paul Richter, from Welt "world" (see world) + Schmerz "pain" (see smart (n.)). Popularized in German by Heine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper