Italian Word of the Day: Allucinante (shocking / amazing)

Today’s word of the day is the adjective allucinante (plural: allucinanti).

cover image with the word “allucinante” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

Literally, allucinante means hallucinatory but more often than not, you will see it used figuratively to describe a fact or event that causes such astonishment, shock or terror that it would appear to be the product of a hallucination. Some possible translations in English include shocking, appalling or horrifying.

Ho assistito ad una scena allucinante! Se te la racconto, non ci crederai!

I witnessed a shocking scene! If I tell you about it, you won’t believe it!

Young people have since appropriated the word, using it with a hyperbolic value to mean amazing, incredible or unbelievable in both a positive and negative sense.

Oggi fa un caldo allucinante e ovviamente l’aria condizionata non funziona!

It’s incredibly hot today and obviously the air conditioning isn’t working!

It can be used for both masculine and feminine subjects without any change to the ending. For example:

  • uno spettacolo allucinante = a shocking sight
  • una cosa allucinante = a shocking thing
Portrait of young pluse size woman with a shocked expression while standing against light blue wall outdoors.
Mi è capitata una cosa allucinante! – An incredible thing happened to me!

Some possible synonyms include:

  • impressionante = impressive, striking, shocking
  • sconvolgente = shocking, upsetting, devastating
  • spaventoso = frightening, appalling, dreadful
  • incredibile = incredible, unbelievable
  • pazzesco = crazy, insane

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