Italian Word of the Day: Amato (beloved / loved)

Amato is an adjective in Italian that means beloved or loved. It is the past participle of the verb amare (to love).


Because it is an adjective, the ending must match the gender and number of the subject in question:

  • amato = masculine, singular (e.g. ragazzo amato = beloved boy)
  • amata = feminine, singular (e.g. ragazza amata = beloved girl)
  • amati = masculine, plural (e.g. ragazzi amati = beloved boys)
  • amate = feminine, plural (e.g. ragazze amate = beloved girls)

This particular adjective can appear before or after the subject it modifies – which may be a person or object – without resulting in a great difference in meaning. This means, for example, that you can translate beloved daughter as either figlia amata or amata figlia.

Il suo amato cane è scomparso l’altro giorno.

His beloved dog went missing the other day.

Peaceful beloved mixed race couple hugging with affection at cafe, copy space
My beloved son – Mio amato figlio

The superlative amatissimo, as well as its respective feminine and plural forms, means much loved.

Giuseppe Pedersoli è l’amatissimo figlio di Bud Spencer.

Giuseppe Pedersoli is the much loved son of Bud Spencer.

Did you know…?
Giuseppe Pedersoli’s mother, a.k.a Bud Spencer’s wife, had the maiden name Amato. It is a common surname / family name for Italians, especially in the south. Variations such as Amati and D’Amato also exist.

Amato, and even more commonly its feminine equivalent amata, can also be used as a term of endearment meaning beloved, darling or sweetheart, but it is fairly antiquated.

Il soldato continua a scrivere lettere d’amore alla sua amata, anche se non la vede da tre anni.

The soldier continues to write love letters to his beloved, even though he hasn’t seen her for three years.

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