The dictionary says that the antonym for 失意 is 得意. But at the same time, the antonym for 得意 is 不得意.

Any idea?

1 Answer 1


The primary meaning of 失意 is disappointment or disappointed.

Dictionary says 得意 has several meanings, and there are several antonyms for 得意 for each meaning:

  1. satisfied, content ⇔ 失意, がっかり disappointed
  2. proud, prideful ⇔ 不名誉, 面目ない embarrassed, ashamed
  3. good at (e.g., tennis, math) ⇔ 不得意, 苦手 bad at

That said, the primary meaning of 得意 is now "be good at" in modern Japanese. The second meaning is usually expressed with 得意気 (e.g. 得意気な顔), and the first meaning is almost dead IMO. So I don't feel 得意 is a good antonym for 失意. (Judging from examples here, 得意 seems to have been used in the first sense until relatively recently (approx 100 years ago)).

Perhaps more straightforward antonym for 失意 would be 満足 (satisfaction), 期待 (expectation), 希望 (hope), or such.

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