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Sadness over the evils of the world, especially as an expression of romantic pessimism.

[German : Welt, world; see Weltanschauung + Schmerz, pain (from Middle High German smërze, from Old High German smerzo).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) sadness or melancholy at the evils of the world; world-weariness
[literally: world pain]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



n. German.
sorrow that one feels and accepts as one's necessary portion in life.
[literally, world-pain]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Weltschmerz - sadness on thinking about the evils of the worldWeltschmerz - sadness on thinking about the evils of the world
melancholy - a feeling of thoughtful sadness
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fish returns to the road in part looking both back and forward, with his latest tour focusing on his final album for Marillion, Clutching At Straws, plus songs from his forthcoming Weltschmerz record.
SATURDAY FISH Final chance to see former Marillion man play band's classic Clutching At Straws album in its entirety, plus tracks from newie Weltschmerz. Queen's Hall, Edinburgh.
On a philosophical level, my existential Weltschmerz says that If I am occupied on the north side then might as well be occupied on all the other three sides of the island as well since it is no secret that the island's fauna and flora is constantly being occupied illegally by everyone on the island from east to west and north to south.
Weltschmerz: Pessimism in German Philosophy 1860-1900.
Once, in an uncharacteristic fit of Weltschmerz, Ocampo declared that he wanted to die at the age of 50 while he was still in full command of his faculties.
Some of these concepts-fatalism, work ethic, reincarnation, Confucianism, Weltschmerz and so on--are readily identifiable within specific groups, societies or nations.
"The general characteristics of Joyce's style in Portrait are those of the late Victorians and the Decadents: the sensual and violent imagery of Swinburne, the colors of the Pre-Raphaelites, the use of repetition and alliteration, the pervasive air of Weltschmerz, and so on" (Naremore 334).
When attached to human, the combo can have a portentous air, evoking weltschmerz, malaise, ennui, and anomie.