Word of the Day Archive
Saturday October 1, 2011
Sentimental pessimism; sorrow that one feels and accepts as one's necessary portion in life.
Cohen confused his mood with his chronic weltschmerz. He spoke at great length on the vicissitudes of a sensitive spirit, his dissatisfaction, the inadequacy of this sphere as far as he was concerned.
-- Daniel Fuchs, Summer in Williamsburg
Their eyes had met, and an inexpressibly sweet sense of eternal tragedy had passed between them, between their generations—a legacy of weltschmerz as old as humanity.
-- Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano
Weltschmerz comes from German welt, "world" and schmerz, "pain." The term was coined by Jean Paul Richter in 1810.