weltschmerz

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English[edit]

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 Weltschmerz on English Wikipedia

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Etymology[edit]

Loanword from German Weltschmerz, literally Welt (world) + Schmerz (ache, pain).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈvɛltʃmɛːts/

Noun[edit]

weltschmerz (uncountable)

  1. (sometimes capitalized) World-weariness; an apathetic or pessimistic view of life; depression concerning or discomfort with the human condition or state of the world.
    • 1938, W.S. Heckscher, “‘Was This the Face…?’” in the Journal of the Warburg Institute I, № 4 (April 1938), page 297:
      Here we have it at once, blended though it may be with the new elements of purging humour and all-embracing Weltschmerz, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
    • 1947, "Art: Berlin's Best," Time, 28 Apr.:
      Koerner's painting did have the heaviness, the harsh humor and the all-pervading weltschmerz which characterized German expressionism in the 1920s.
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow:
      A man-to-man touch then on his buttoned epaulet. A middle-aged smile full of Weltschmerz.

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