How do you say COLD in Italian?

Cold in Italian


Freddo is how you say cold into Italian. Don’t confuse cold with “caldo”, which is hot in English!

OriginFrom the Latin word frigĭdus, “cold”


Cold in Italian: Different forms

Like all other adjectives in Italian, freddo needs to match the gender (masculine or feminine) and the number (singular or plural) of the noun.

freezing woman in winter clothes

Cold in Italian: Examples

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 can 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 can 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 can 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!

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