I'm looking for a word that means feeling both happy and sad at the same time. Here's a sentence I'd like to use it in:

"At least we got one vote," she said with a (word I'm looking for) smile.



  • producing or expressing a mixture of pain and pleasure: a movie with a bittersweet ending.
  • pleasant but tinged with sadness.
  • a bittersweet smile.


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  • it doesn't fit to the OP's example though, does it? – Nick The Dick Mar 22 at 20:14

While somewhat broader than happy/sad, you could say ambivalent.

Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone:

Some loved her, some hated her, few were ambivalent about her.

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The dictionary on my Mac defines rueful as

expressing sorrow or regret, especially in a wry or humorous way: she gave a rueful grin

which fits OP's sentence quite well.

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Melancholic! Bittersweet more exact.

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Not exactly what the OP's looking for but tragicomic also describes both happy and sad feelings at the same time.

Tragicomic (adj): Something that is tragicomic is both sad and amusing at the same time.

Example: This was a tragicomic story of human frailty.

Collins dictionary

Or ambivalent.

Ambivalent (adj): Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

Example: an ambivalent attitude to Europe.


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