Italian Word of the Day: Aspirapolvere (vacuum cleaner)

My son recently turned one, and as young toddlers go, he’s pretty fearless. However, he does have one archenemy: the dreaded aspirapolvere (vacuum cleaner / hoover)!

/a·spi·ra·pól·ve·re/
cover image with the word “aspirapolvere” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of cofee

Aspirapolvere is an invariable masculine noun, so it does not change in its plural form. It is composed of the verb aspirare (to suck / to inhale) and polvere which means dust.

Here are a few useful verbs you might see paired with this word:

  • passare l’aspirapolvere = to vacuum (lit. to pass the vacuum)
  • accendere l’aspirapolvere = to turn on the vacuum cleaner
  • spegnere l’aspirapolvere = to turn off the vacuum cleaner
  • svuotare l’aspirapolvere = to empty the vacuum cleaner
  • (ri)caricare l’aspirapolvere = to (re)charge the vacuum cleaner

Puoi mettere in carica l’aspirapolvere? Bisogna passarlo prima che arrivino gli ospiti.

Can you charge the vacuum cleaner? We have to vacuum before the guests arrive.


teenager vacuuming floor in living room with vacuum cleaner
Sta passando l’aspirapolvere sul pavimento. = He is vacuuming the floor.

Some of the different kinds of vacuum cleaners you can buy include:

  • aspirapolvere a traino = canister vacuum cleaner (comes with a suction hose and separate unit for the motor and receptacle)
  • aspirapolvere senza fili / sacco = a cordless / bagless vacuum cleaner
  • scopa elettrica = electric broom
  • battitappeto = carpet sweeper
  • robot aspirapolvere = robotic vacuum
  • aspirabriciole = handheld vacuum (lit. crumb sucker)

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