Italian Word of the Day: Brivido (chill / shiver)

What do a cold wind, a gentle touch, and an extremely emotional song all have in common? They are all capable of giving you brividi!

italian word for shiver / chill

Brivido is the word for shudder, shiver or chill in Italian, but it is often seen in its plural form brividi. Being a masculine noun, it takes the following definite and indefinite articles:

il brivido

i brividi

un brivido

dei brividi

There are a few ways to describe the experience of brividi in Italian:

  • avere i brividi = to have the shivers
  • mi vengono i brividi = I get the shivers (lit. the shivers come to me)
  • avvertire un brivido = to feel a shiver
  • provocare i brividi = to give the shivers

Mi vengono i brividi quando ho la febbre.

I get the shivers when I have a fever.

woman holding her arms
Ho i brividi! = I have the shivers!

Brivido can also be used to describe something that gives you the creeps or sends shivers down your spine. In this case, you would pair it with the verbs mettere (to put), dare (to give) or far venire (lit. to make come).

Questo film dell’orrore mi mette i brividi ogni volta che lo guardo!

This horror film sends shivers down my spine every time I watch it!

Another possible translation is thrill when describing something exciting or hair-raising, such as il brivido della scoperta (the thrill of discovery). Da brivido is an expression that means thrilling (e.g. un posto da brivido = a thrilling place).

Did you know that…?

Brividi is also the title of a famous song by Mahmood and Blanco which won the 2022 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival. You can check out the lyrics and the English translation here.

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