German word of the day: Stimmung

Sarah Magill
Sarah Magill - [email protected]
German word of the day: Stimmung

Describe how you’re feeling with this versatile word.


Why do I need to know Stimmung?

Because it describes an essential aspect of the human experience.  


What does it mean?

Die Stimmung, which sounds like this, is the German word for “mood” or “atmosphere”. It’s an interesting and useful word which can be used to describe both the mood or psychological state of a person, as well as the general public mood, or the atmosphere of places or events.

You might hear people describe a party as having eine coole Stimmung (a cool vibe), or read about the Vebraucherstimmung (consumer mood or sentiment) in the business section of an Austrian newspaper. You might also hear a moody friend describe themselves as being prone to Stimmungsschwankungen (mood swings).

The noun Stimmung has a close link to music. It shares the same root as the word die Stimme, meaning voice, which originates from the ancient Greek word stoma (mouth). It also shares the root of the verb stimmen, which means to tune (a musical instrument) as well as the adjective stimmig meaning harmonious, or having the same voice.

Stimmung is still used in musical terminology to mean the correct tuning of an instrument.

Use it like this:

An diesem Ort herrscht eine geheimnisvolle Stimmung

This place has a mysterious atmosphere

Die Stimmung da war gestern richtig schlecht

The atmosphere there yesterday was really bad

Ein gesunder Körper hebt meine Stimmung

A healthy body lifts my mood


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