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WOTD      
Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Monday 21st August 2017
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

schadenfreude (noun) SHA-den-froy-da



Malicious or smug pleasure taken in somebody else's misfortune.

It was a measure of Cecilia's character that, unlike most people, she experienced no schadenfreude about this, felt no secret pleasure in the superiority of her circumstances over her friend's, but sincerely regretted Daphne's inferior home and reduced income.

Barbara Vine, King Solomon's Carpet. Amazon

On the issues of a United Nations resolution that can help with the reconstruction of Iraq, and of finding a framework for the operation of an international peacekeeping force, have the French and Germans not merely displayed schadenfreude but done damage to the prospects for peace in Iraq itself, and prejudiced any possibility whatsoever of a common European foreign policy, let alone of a single European Foreign Minister from either France or Germany?

John Wilkinson, Commons Hansard, 8 September 2003. Commons Hansard

Newspapers and television bulletins enjoy pictures of boats in streets and old ladies carried to safety by gallant firemen, with a frisson of schadenfreude in the sight of someone's kitchen waist-high in water.

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, 3 July 2007. Guardian

After all, Rushdie was known for his high regard for himself, and so quite a few of his fellow authors and good liberals indulged in a little secret, or not so secret, schadenfreude.

Andrew Anthony, The Observer, 24 June 2007. The Observer

But if awards-show commentators and viewers are more attuned to and more critical of celebrity cosmetic transformations, it may also be chalked up to schadenfreude.

!Celebrities are so beautiful that people kind of enjoy it when they start to age," Dr. Lask said. "They become human. It brings them back to being like the rest of us."

Natasha Singer, The New York Times, 18 February 2007. New York Times




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