"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]
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