The Cambridge Dictionary defines Commiserate:

to feel or express sympathy for someone’s suffering or unhappiness

In my experience/opinion, it's more than sympathy and implies a joint suffering and is often used ironically. For instance, a sports fanatic might commiserate a team's loss with a fellow fan.

Using a similar sports example, what might I do with a fellow fan if our team wins?

  • 2
    Gloat, perhaps?
    – Mick
    Dec 5, 2016 at 21:58
  • 1
    Maybe "gloat", but I feel like it implies direction, bragging. Dec 5, 2016 at 21:59
  • 2
    One antonym of sympathy is indifference. So, "show indifference to someone's suffering."
    – Mick
    Dec 5, 2016 at 22:19
  • 4
    Do you mean antonym of "express", antonym of "sympathy" or antonym of "suffering or unhappiness"? Dec 5, 2016 at 22:22
  • 4
    You need to define "opposite". Does it mean that there's nothing to commiserate about, or that the individuals do not interact in commiseration?
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 5, 2016 at 22:34

6 Answers 6


Since you liked wallow in your victory so much, but prefer a single word, I will propose


verb: 1. To take great pleasure or delight: She reveled in her unaccustomed leisure.

  1. To engage in uproarious festivities; make merry.


noun: (often revels) A boisterous festivity or celebration; merrymaking.


I think this is the word you are looking for, because I have heard news reports that after a particular game, some revelers have gotten out of hand. This has given me the impression that reveling after an intense sports match can be an intense group experience.

  • That's the one! Dec 6, 2016 at 16:03
  • Commiserate a loss and revel in victory! Dec 6, 2016 at 16:12

If two fans aren't commiserating, they must be celebrating

to commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities: to celebrate the success of a new play.

This is definitely appropriate, as this snippet from an Independent article on the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series:

Chicago's landmark victory in the World Series has triggered a wave of emotional and touching videos of elderly fans celebrating back at home

  • Perfect in context! Dec 6, 2016 at 1:41
  • Yep, perfect in context! Just the word I could immediately think of after reading this question. Dec 6, 2016 at 14:32
  • This is very good, and a correct answer, but I think "revel" really has the feel I wanted. Dec 6, 2016 at 16:13


Congratulations tend to pass from the loser (or their fans) to the winner (or then fans) and so are a direct opposite of commiserations, which are from a winner to a loser.

to express pleasure to (a person), as on a happy occasion: They congratulated him on his win.


This is often seen at the end of a game show in the form of:

Commiserations to [losing team], but congratulations to tonight's winners [winning team]!

This also fits if you want to fit this into your situation of two winning fans:

They congratulated each other on another win for their team.

Russian fans congratulate each other in the street after the finish of the Russia-Czech republic soccer match at Euro 2012, in Moscow

(Alamy Photograph Title)


One possibility, especially in the context of others' suffering, is to be/stand aloof:

distant, unsympathetic, or supercilious in manner, attitude, or feeling

  • Using the sports example, I would not go "stand aloof" with a fellow Piggers fan if we won the pork-bowl. I mean, I might, but it's not what I'm going for here. I think Celebrate is definitely the closest to what I'm hoping to find. Dec 5, 2016 at 22:27


Rejoice, which means: "to feel joy or great delight," is another celebratory word with less potentially negative connotation than revel.

Examples of rejoice in a sentence:

We all rejoiced over our friend's good luck.
We rejoiced over our unexpected victory on the soccer field.

(See Merriam-Webster)


Galvanize -

As an opposite to commiserate, I think that perhaps this word would work depending on the context.

For example, "The community chose not to commiserate when a fire burned down their historical center; rather, they galvanized and began to remodel the entire downtown district."

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