Definition of Weltschmerz in English:



  • A feeling of melancholy and world-weariness.

    ‘Herzog's use of non-actors in lead roles guarantees the film's compass is always skewed, and his Weltschmerz, his weariness at the world and its ongoing historical delirium, illuminates each frame.’
    • ‘It has no social or political significance whatsoever, and is certainly not a moment of Weltschmerz or angst.’
    • ‘Kancheli's fondness for slow tempos, spare textures, dramatic contrasts in dynamics, and overall Weltschmerz are just as apparent on this new CD as they were on its predecessors.’
    • ‘But if a bit of Weltschmerz and views of a gloomy rainy Hamburg is your thing, go for Wenders’ The American Friend (plus, you get to see the acting skills of Nicholas Ray, Samuel Fuller and Jean Eustache - a nice bonus.)’
    • ‘The romantic suffering of Germany or of the world itself - the Germans call this mood Weltschmerz was a common theme of German poets like Heinrich Heine, Friedrich Rückert and many others in the 19th century.’
    • ‘Heckel's work from his Dresden period is characterized by a tendency towards an elongation of the figure and a sensation of withdrawal and Weltschmerz in the subject matter, an almost prophetic fear and spiritual constriction.’
    • ‘Geez, last week's Weltschmerz linking sweltering frogs brought to a climate-change boiling point was brilliant - or was he just looking at the long-range weather forecast?’
    • ‘He cannot resist a certain amount of Weltschmerz in his adaptation that is melting into bliss under the stronghold of Gililov's happy-go-lucky piano.’
    • ‘The present year began with the singer wandering aimlessly through ‘Lost in Translation’while slow pop music evoked her Weltschmerz.’
    • ‘The Weltschmerz of Jenny and Celia lacks sugar-coating of any kind; it is one they can virtually reach out and touch.’
    • ‘Having knocked about the world - and been knocked about by it - it's no wonder that he should show symptoms of a lingering Weltschmerz in later life.’
    unhappiness, restlessness, uneasiness, unease, melancholy, depression, despondency, dejection, disquiet, trouble, anxiety, anguish, angst



/ˈveltˌSHmerts/ /ˈvɛltˌʃmɛrts/


German, from Welt ‘world’ + Schmerz ‘pain’.