Sehnsucht: (n) German

  • longing, pining, yearning, craving, intensely missing
  • difficult to translate because it describes a deep emotional state
  • it is similar to the Portuguese word saudade, or the Romanian word dor.
  • Sehnsucht is a compound word, originating from an ardent longing, but these words do not adequately encapsulate the full meaning of their resulting compound, even when considered together
  • it represents thoughts, feelings, all facets of life that are imperfect or unfinished, and a yearning for alternative experiences
  • ‘life’s longings’
  • someone’s search for happiness while coping with the reality of unobtainable wants/wishes
  • such feelings are profound and are associated with both positive and negative feelings that produces an ambiguous emotional state
  • sometimes it is referred to as a longing for a far off place but not particularly an earthly place we can identify yet feels familiar and is what we would refer to as ‘home’
  • it is a type of nostalgia
  • it can also be a longing for someone but most people do not conscious of who it is they long for but the emotion is so strong and intense that initially the emotion itself and not that there is someone they long for
  • it may be so significant that reality pales in comparison

As defined according to:


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