Word of the Week: weltschmerz (VELT-shmairts)


(Noun) 1. often capitalized Weltschmerz : mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state.

2. often capitalized Weltschmerz : a mood of sentimental sadness

In Context

“The mad narrator or central figure is in a world that may be experienced as confusing, grotesque or volatile; above all, it is private, closed in on itself, unavailable to outsiders.… The notion of insanity as a kind of extreme loneliness is good for a wallow in adolescent-romantic weltschmerz, if not much else.”

Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, 29 June 2018.