Definition of Weltschmerz in English:



mass noun
  • A feeling of melancholy and world-weariness.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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 Weltschmerz of Jenny and Celia lacks sugar-coating of any kind; it is one they can virtually reach out and touch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘The present year began with the singer wandering aimlessly through ‘Lost in Translation’while slow pop music evoked her Weltschmerz.’
    unhappiness, restlessness, uneasiness, unease, melancholy, depression, despondency, dejection, disquiet, trouble, anxiety, anguish, angst
    View synonyms


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