AskDefine | Define resentful

Dictionary Definition

resentful adj : full of or marked by resentment or indignant ill will; "resentful at the way he was treated"; "a sullen resentful attitude" [ant: unresentful]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Inclined to resent; full of or tending to harbor negative emotion; easily provoked to anger; irritable.


Inclined to resent; easily provoked to anger; irritable

Extensive Definition

Resentment an emotion of anger or bitterness felt repeatedly as a result of a real or imagined wrong done.
Professor Robert C. Solomon places resentment on the same line continuum with contempt and anger. According to him the differences between the three emotions are that: resentment is directed toward a higher status individual, anger is directed toward equal status individual and contempt is directed toward lower status individual.
Resentment will often manifest itself in the following ways.
  • The harboring of animosity against a person or group of people whom the person feels has mistreated them.
  • Unresolved anger over a negative event which occurred in the past.
  • Seething, aching emotional turmoil felt whenever a certain person or event is discussed.
  • The lack of forgiving, the unwillingness to let go and forget.
  • A root of distrust and suspicion have when dealing with people or events that brought pain in the past.
  • Unresolved grief experienced when finding it difficult to accept a loss.
  • A grudge held against a person or group of people whom the person feels has kept them from achieving anything.
It can be an emotionally disturbing experience that is being felt again or relived in the mind. When the person feeling resentment is directing the emotion at himself it appears as remorse.
(See Kierkegaard and Nietzsche; also 12-step discussion of Resentment)


1. Robert C. Solomon, Ph.D.. "The Passions: Emotions and the Meaning of Life" (1993) 2. James J. Messina, Ph.D., Constance M. Messina, Ph.D.. "Handling Resentment." (1999) 2 2 2008 .
resentful in German: Aversion
resentful in French: Ressentiment
resentful in Japanese: ルサンチマン
resentful in Turkish: İçerleme

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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