Nicky: Schadenfreude, huh? What's that, some kinda Nazi word?
Gary: Yeah. It's german for happiness at the misfortune of others.
Nicky: Happiness at the misfortune of others...that *is* German!
The above exchange comes courtesy of broadway's "Avenue Q," which is not only a play I'd actually quite like to direct one day, once the amateur rights become available, but also provides a nice, concise definition of the word.
I had the opportunity tonight to experience a pleasant glow of Schadenfreude. And I don't really want to gloat about it, because that'd just be mean, but when you do get the chance to experience pure schadenfreude, it can bring a bout smile quite unlike any other.
Oh, and of course, when the other person's misfortune (and / or suffering) is karmicly appropriate...yeah, it's even better.