If Schadenfreude means joy at someone else's failure or ill-fortune, is there an antonym that means resentment at someone else's success or good fortune?


This is a different kind of opposite to the one mentioned in this previous question Looking for the opposite of Schadenfreude

  • 13
    "resentment at someone else's success or good fortune?" We call that envy, "Neid" in German.
    – user6495
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 11:40
  • 4
    Wouldn't the opposite rather be something like empathy?
    – Polygnome
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 12:43
  • 2
    @Polygnome if it's an antonym in regard to the "joy"/"Freude" part of Schadenfreude, then yes. Or maybe even better: compassion/ Mitleid. Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 11:23
  • 1
    According to The Simpsons, the answer is "sour grapes" ;-) youtube.com/watch?v=B01e7n4RzZc Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 21:16
  • 1
    Schadenleiden :v
    – raven
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 12:55

6 Answers 6


Not really an answer to this particular question, but for completeness here's the four possible logical variations of this:

                  ┃ You're happy about it   │  You're unhappy about it
Someone's lucky   ┃  Gunst,                 │  Neid / Missgunst
                  ┃“Ich freue mich für dich”│
Someone's unlucky ┃  Schadenfreude          │  Mitleid
  • 10
    This is unexpectedly useful!
    – gented
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 17:15
  • 3
    @gented it certainly is unexpectedly popular! Hoffentlich wird keiner neidisch, sondern gönnt mir die Upvotes. Ich habe Mitleid mit den anderen Antworten, keineswegs Schadenfreude dass sie weniger beliebt sind... Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 20:43

Missgunst (translates somewhat literally into "failing to grant/allow something to someone") is probably what your looking for.

  • 1
    To me the concepts seem quite close to each other, both negative.
    – Frankstr
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 20:55

The antonym searched (so instead of joy over ones sorrow becomes sorrow over ones joy) seems the quite simple word (present in many languages):

Neid (envy, jealousy).

  • Couldn't "Eifersucht" also be used for jealousy, or does that have a different connotation?
    – MattDMo
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 22:43
  • 4
    Eifersucht is mostly used for relationships, where one person receives or is assumed to receive affection by an outsider, so its not a simple synonym.
    – guidot
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 22:59
  • OK, that makes sense. Thanks
    – MattDMo
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 23:11

From yesterday, hardly used today:


  • 1
    Do you know as a "native speaker knows", that the term "from yesterday" refers to something oldfashioned in language? I found as first glance this: dict.leo.org/forum/… Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 15:27
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    @ShegitBrahm: Since I'm one of the natives, yes, I do.
    – Pollitzer
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 16:11
  • thanks, again what learned. My knowledge is small and I did not know that. Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 16:26
  • good one! not often used today and also regional from my area, the rhineland - de.wiktionary.org/wiki/…
    – Frankstr
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 20:58

I think the first question is, what's the real antonym. As a german speaker, I would see the antonym for Schadenfreude to be a word, that conveys "being happy that you're happy" (as antonym to "being happy that you're unhappy").

There is probably a word for this, maybe someone can comment or edit the answer.

As a phrase one would say "Ich freue mich für dich" / "Ich freue mich mit dir".

Another way to look at it (which does not feel like being the antonym to Schadenfreude in german) would be "I am unhappy that you're unhappy" and this would be "Mitleid".


"Es sei dir gegönnt" bzw. jemanden etwas gönnen

  • 5
    Welcome to German.SE. It is common sense to answer an english written question in english. Additionally it is a bit short - which can happen - and so maybe: is there an (online) resource that can be used to understand the term you write. Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 15:02
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    @ShegitBrahm: Gefragt ist ein deutscher Ausdruck - Du mokierst Dich ernsthaft über das "bzw." zwischen den beiden? Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 22:53

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