How do you say ICE in Italian?

How exactly do you say ice in Italian?

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


Let’s get started! Iniziamo!

How do you say ice in Italian?


Ghiaccio is how you translate ice into Italian.

Il ghiaccio
(The) ice

bowl of water with ice cubes in it

It is a masculine uncountable noun, so it uses the article il (definite, the ice).

You will only find it in its definite plural form (i ghiacci) to talk about all the ice on the planet, as in…

I ghiacci si stanno sciogliendo a causa del cambiamento climatico.
The ice is melting because of climate change.

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

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Its pronunciation is similar to guee-ah-cho and it comes from the Latin word fluĕre, “to flow”. Make sure that the final -e has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean!

È uscito il sole e il ghiaccio si è sciolto.
The sun came out and the ice melted.

I ghiacciai, i ghiacci terrestri e gli iceberg sono fatti di acqua dolce.
Glaciers, land ice, and icebergs are made of fresh water.

Il Canada è la madrepatria dell’hockey su ghiaccio.
Canada is the motherland of ice hockey.

Perché il ghiaccio galleggia?
Why does ice float?

bottles floating in water with ice cubes

Ice cream and ice cubes

Make sure you never translate ice cream as “crema ghiaccio”, because you can’t translate it literally!

The word for ice cream in Italian is gelato.

Il gelato
The ice cream

For example, you could say…

I bambini vogliono un po’ di gelato.
The children want some ice cream.

Mi dia tre gelati, per favore.
Give me three ice creams, please.

female ice cream vendor

Ice cubes, however, can be translated literally as cubetti di ghiaccio (well, not too literally, since cubetti means “small cubes”, from cubo).

Il cubetto di ghiaccio
The ice cube

For example, you could say…

Potrebbe mettere dei cubetti di ghiaccio nel mio bicchiere?
Could you put some ice cubes in my glass?

Idioms with the word for ice in Italian

There are a number of popular idiomatic expressions featuring the word for ice in Italian. Among these are:

  • rompere il ghiaccio (to break the ice)
  • essere un blocco di ghiaccio (to be a block of ice)
  • cuore di ghiaccio (heart of ice)

For example, you could say…

La riunione è iniziata con alcune chiacchiere generali per rompere il ghiaccio.
The meeting began with some general chitchat to break the ice.

Ho atteso l’autobus per mezz’ora. Stavo per diventare un blocco di ghiaccio!
I waited half an hour for the bus. I was about to become a block of ice!

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

What next?

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