Definition of ressentiment in US English:



  • A psychological state arising from suppressed feelings of envy and hatred that cannot be acted upon, frequently resulting in some form of self-abasement.

    • ‘Such objections can reveal the objectors' ressentiment, but they can also contain some truth.’
    • ‘No doubt there is ressentiment, but it is ressentiment with a multitude of reasons that we need to understand, if not accept.’
    • ‘The revolt in social ethics begins when ressentiment turns creative and gives death to values-the ressentiment of beings who, deprived of the direct outlet of creativity, compensate by an all too real vengeance.’
    • ‘Rousseau's return to nature, he affirms, reeks of reactivity, self-loathing and ressentiment against the aristocratic culture.’
    • ‘‘The man of ressentiment is characterised by the invasion of consciousness by mnemonic traces, the ascent of memory into consciousness itself’.’


Via German (used by Nietzsche in this sense) from French ressentiment ‘feeling’.