I am looking for words to describe the feeling of when you prove someone wrong. For example Person A says person B can't do something. Out of spite Person B does said thing. Person B then feels____.

Triumphant, Vindicated, satisfied all describe part of the feeling. I am looking for words the describe the "In your face" or "Ha! you were wrong" feeling.

  • 1
    Are you looking for something akin to "gloating"?
    – user888379
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 20:32
  • Triumphant sound pretty good. It depends if you want something slangy (Yah, boo, sucks to you) or something more formal like (consults thesaurus) exultant.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 23:38
  • Contrariness?
    – Conrado
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 12:00

4 Answers 4


(Cambridge Dictionary) in your face used to describe something done in a forceful way that intends to shock people

This sort of reaction is really characterized as vindictiveness.

(Cambridge Dictionary) vindictive adjective disapproving
having or showing a wish to harm someone because you think that they harmed you; unwilling to forgive

  • Person B then feels vindictive.

If you do not want this revengeful attitude, while still keeping that of satisfaction and vindication (but not triumph) you can use "rehabilitated".

(SOED) rehabilitate 2a Restore to a previous condition; set up again in proper condition.

(The Crystal Pyramid) Now William was certain he was not mad. He had been right to search for his father and he knew deep within his being that he would continue to do so, until only his death stopped him.
Suddenly he felt rehabilitated, and although still confused about his father's disapppearance, he was not mad. There was a proof he had been searching for and now he was positive his father was real.

(70 Greatest Love Stories in Fiction (Historical Novels Edition) Charlotte Brontë, ‎Anne Brontë, ‎Emily Brontë · 2023) His book-case somehow transported him back to the days when he had thought of better things for himself, and when life had held an ideal for him. Perhaps at the best of times it had never been a very high ideal; but when a man is over fifty and has given up doing anything but struggle through each day as it comes, and gets out of his work as best he may, doing what he must, leaving undone what he can, any ideal almost seems something higher than himself; but the recollection of what he had meant to be, came back to him strongly when he looked at his carved oak.It had not been carried out; but still he felt rehabilitated and better in his own opinion as he stood beside this costly purchase he had made, and felt that it changed his room and all his surroundings. It might have been almost wicked to run into such extravagance, but yet it did him good.


I'd say "validated" but it may not be as strong a feeling as you'd like

(Cambridge Dictionary) to prove that something is correct

  • Hello, Guest! Give some time to the tour when you can, to see what an answer should include here. This one should include a dictionary definition validating your word choice, if you'd be so kind. Cheers
    – Conrado
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 11:58

I feel that 'Gotcha' works and is in the parlance of our times. Although adding 'Ha' before 'Gotcha', in my opinion, reduces the impact.

  • Does 'Gotcha' really describe the feeling? Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 13:28
  • @KillingTime You can say things like "It was a 'Gotcha' moment."
    – Barmar
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 20:17

have the last laugh

(idiom) to finally get an advantage from an argument or disagreement, when it seemed that you would not.
(idiom) to succeed when others thought you would not:

  • She was fired from the company last year, but she had the last laugh when she was hired by their main rival at twice the salary.
  • “Bob had the last laugh when he proved his coworker/supervisor/ employer was wrong.”

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

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