One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An occasion on which enjoyment or profit is derived from others' suffering or discomfort.
- ‘Still less welcome is he who would make a Roman holiday of our misfortunes.’
- ‘He could well have blamed the Americans for what had befallen him - but today, he was not ready for a Roman holiday.’
Early 19th century: from Byron's Childe Harold, originally with reference to a holiday given for a gladiatorial combat.
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