How do you say BITTER in Italian?

How exactly do you say bitter in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about being bitter in Italian and you will even learn some interesting facts featuring this word. Read on to learn them all!

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Bitter in Italian


Amaro is how you translate bitter into Italian. Amaro can also translate “sour”. Let’s hear how this adjective is pronounced.

Its pronunciation is similar to ah-MAH-roh and it comes from the the Latin word amarum, “bitter liquor”. Make sure the final -o has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!


woman eating something sour

Amaro can also be used to translate “tonic liquor”.

Like all other adjectives in Italian, amaro needs to match the gender and number of the noun.


If some food is bitter, you would say amaro because food, cibo, is a masculine noun in Italian.

Likewise, you will say amara, if you’re talking about some bitter water, acqua, which is a feminine noun.

Plural nouns behave the same way: if you want to describe some bitter artichokes (carciofi, masculine plural), use amari. If you’re talking about some bitter almonds (mandorle, feminine plural), use amare instead.

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
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For example, you could say…

Il caffè senza zucchero è molto amaro.
Coffee without sugar is very bitter.

Questi limoni sono amari.
These lemons are bitter.

La cioccolata fondente è spesso amara.
Dark chocolate is often bitter.

La sconfitta ha lasciato un sapore amaro.
The defeat left a bitter taste.

boy holding a chocolate bar

From amaro you get amarezza, which means “bitterness”.

La fine dell’estate portava con sé un senso di amarezza.
The end of summer brought with it a sense of bitterness.

You can also find cacao amaro, unsweetened cocoa.

Il cacao amaro è caro.
Unsweetened cocoa is expensive.

Expressions with bitter in Italian

There are some idiomatic expressions with the word for bitter in Italian. For example:

Amaro come il fiele
As bitter as bile

Rimanere con l’amaro in bocca
To be left with a sour taste in your mouth

Farsi il sangue amaro
To make yourself ill over

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say bitter in Italian!

What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to say bitter in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

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