How do you say DARK in Italian?

Dark in Italian

Il buio

Dark can be either a noun or an adjective.

Buio is the direct translation for dark in Italian when it’s used as a noun. It is uncountable, so it has no plural form and it is preceded only by its definite singular article.

OriginFrom the Latin word burius, “dark red”
Pronunciation/ˈbuːjo/

Il buio
The dark

For example, you can say…

Mio fratello più piccolo ha paura del buio.
My younger brother is afraid of the dark.

C’era buio nella stanza, così ho acceso la luce.
It was dark in the room, so I turned on the light.

Quando fa buio, gli animali escono per cacciare.
When it gets dark, the animals come out to hunt.

how do you say buio in italian - starry night sky in the city

L’oscurità

In poetry and literary works, you can also use oscurità to translate dark in Italian. This is a feminine noun and again, it is uncountable. You will not often find it in everyday speech.

L’oscurità
The dark

woman afraid of the dark

For example, you can say…

Il corridoio era avvolto dall’oscurità.
The corridor was shrouded in darkness.

L’oscurità era molto fitta all’interno della foresta.
The darkness was very thick inside the forest.


Scuro

Scuro is the most common translation for dark in Italian when it’s intended as an adjective. Like all other adjectives in Italian, scuro needs to match the gender (masculine or feminine) and the number (singular or plural) of the noun.

Scuro
Dark (m, sing)

Scuri
Dark (m, pl)

Scura
Dark (f, sing)

Scure
Dark (f, pl)

Scuro
Dark

scuro - how do you say dark in italian - dark cityscape at night

For example, you can say…

La maglietta è di un bel colore blu scuro.
The T-shirt is of a beautiful dark blue color.

Hai una faccia così scura! È successo qualcosa?
You have such a dark face! Did something happen?

Ho molti nei scuri sulla schiena.
I have many dark moles on my back.

Le foglie di questa pianta sono molto scure.
The leaves of this plant are very dark.


Buio

Buio can also be used as an adjective in Italian. It has a more threatening meaning than scuro.

Buio
Dark (m, sing)

Bui
Dark (m, pl)

Buia
Dark (f, sing)

Buie
Dark (f, pl)

Era una notte buia e tempestosa…
It was a dark and stormy night…

La caverna era buia e umida.
The cave was dark and humid.


L’ombra
The shadow

La notte
The night

La tenebra
The darkness

For example, you can say…

Intravedo un’ombra oltre il vetro opaco della porta.
I can glimpse a shadow behind the opaque glass of the door.

Un tuono rimbombò nel cuore della notte.
Thunder rumbled in the middle of the night.

L’edificio era ammantato nelle tenebre.
The building was shrouded in darkness.

lightning hitting a tree at night

Dark in Italian: Expressions

There are a number of idiomatic expressions featuring the word for dark in Italian. For example:

Buio pesto
Pitch black

Cioccolato fondente
Dark chocolate

Umorismo nero
Dark humor

Capelli scuri
Dark hair

Occhio nero
Dark eye

Pelle scura
Dark skin

For example, you can say…

Non mi piace il cioccolato fondente, preferisco quello al latte.
I don’t like dark chocolate; I prefer milk chocolate.

Marco ha occhi e capelli scuri.
Marco has dark eyes and dark hair.

Vincenzo ha un occhio nero per aver ricevuto un pugno.
Vincenzo has a black eye from having received a punch.

C’è buio pesto qua dentro. Accendi la luce!
It’s pitch black in here. Turn on the light!

man coming home from work when it's night outside - how do you say dark in italian

Al buio tutti i gatti sono bigi
“All cats are gray in the dark”

Chi nasce di gatta piglia i topi al buio
“Those who are born of a female cat, they catch mice in the dark”

cat chasing mouse - how do you say dark in italian

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