How do you say COLD in Italian?

How exactly do you say cold in Italian?

In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about being cold in Italian. Read on to learn all you need to know!


Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

Cold in Italian


Freddo is how you translate cold into Italian. Let’s listen to how this adjective is pronounced.

Its pronunciation is similar to FREHD-doh and it comes from the Latin word frigidus, “chilly” or “cold”. Make sure the final -o has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!

Also, don’t confuse cold with “caldo”, which is hot in English!


freezing woman in winter clothes

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


If food is cold, you would say freddo because food, cibo, is a masculine noun in Italian.

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

Plural nouns behave the same way: if you want to describe a group of cold tubes (tubi, masculine plural), use freddi. If you’re talking about your cold hands (mani, feminine plural), use fredde instead.

Freddo can also be used as a noun.

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
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Pages: 672

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For example, you could say…

Il vento freddo mi fa rabbrividire.
The cold wind makes me shiver.

L’acqua è troppo fredda per nuotare.
The water is too cold to swim in.

Ho le mani fredde.
My hands are cold.

Oggi fa freddo.
It’s cold today.

people having a picnic in cold weather

If something is very cold, you can use the adjective gelido, “freezing cold”.


For example, you could say…

Il vento gelido ha fatto cadere le foglie dagli alberi.
The icy wind made the leaves fall from the trees.

Hai i piedi gelidi! Scaldali vicino alla stufa.
Your feet are freezing cold! Warm them by the stove.

Fresco is another common way to translate cold in Italian. It literally means “fresh”.

box full of fresh fruit and vegetables

For example, you could say…

Oggi fa fresco qui in montagna.
It’s cool here in the mountains today.

La frutta fresca è sempre la scelta migliore.
Fresh fruit is always the best choice.

To translate “to be cold”, use the expression avere freddo, literally meaning “to have cold”.

Sono uscito senza giacca e ora ho freddo.
I went out without a jacket and now I’m cold.

students freezing at school

Idioms with freddo in Italian

There is a number of common idioms featuring the word for cold in Italian. Some of them are…

  • sudare freddo, to be in a cold sweat
  • non fare né caldo né freddo, to make no difference
  • a sangue freddo, cold-bloodedly
  • a mente fredda, lucidly
  • doccia fredda, wet blanket

For example, you could say…

Questo è un problema di cui dobbiamo discutere a mente fredda.
This is an issue we need to discuss lucidly.

Ho scambiato l’ombra per un ladro. Ho sudato freddo!
I mistook the shadow for a thief. I broke out in a cold sweat!

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

What next?

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

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