Italian Word of the Day: Benessere (well-being)

Along with health, happiness, and other essentials, we seek physical and mental well-being to feel fulfilled in our lives.

/be·nès·se·re/ – /beˈnɛssere/
Italian word "benessere"

The Italian word for well-being is benessere, which is the mirror image of the English term – bene means well, and essere means being (as a noun) or to be (as a verb). Another possible translation is wellness.

It is a masculine noun that takes the following definite and indefinite articles. Keep in mind, however, that it is normally used with the definite singular article il (the).

  • il benessere = the well-being
  • un benessere = a well-being
  • i benesseri = the well-beings
  • dei benesseri = some well-beings

The place where you go to receive health and beauty treatment is known as un centro benessere (a spa or wellness centre), whereas the kind of wellness package offered on holidays is called un pacchetto benessere.

People sitting on meadow in park and practicing yoga and lotus position

In addition to well-being, benessere can also mean wealth, affluence or prosperity. For example, what we call the poverty index in English is translated into Italian with a more positive spin as indicatore di benessere (“indicator of well-being”). The expression vivere nel benessere means to be affluent / well-off.

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