Italian Word of the Day: Corteccia (bark)

The word for the bark that covers a tree is corteccia. The word originates from the Latin corticĕa, the feminine form of the adjective corticĕus, derived from cortex -tĭcis, meaning bark.

/cor·téc·cia/ – [korˈtettʃa]
Italian word "corteccia"

Here are the definite and indefinite articles you should use with this feminine noun. Note that in its plural form, cortecce, the -cia ending becomes -ce rather than -cie.

  • la corteccia = the bark
  • le cortecce = the barks
  • una corteccia = a bark
  • delle cortecce = some barks

close up of pine tree skin texture macro

In anatomy, corteccia is also the word for one’s cortex, which is the outer layer of the cerebrum (much in the same way bark is the outer layer of a tree). You will also hear it called by the longer name corteccia cerebrale (cerebral cortex). It can also denote the outer layer of other organs such as the corteccia surrenale (adrenal cortex).

cropped shot of woman holding brain model in hands

Figuratively, corteccia can also denote the external appearance or layer of something, though this usage is uncommon. For instance, you might poetically describe the chocolate shell of certain ice cream varieties, or the crust of a loaf of bread as corteccia. Similarly, you could depict someone’s tough exterior personality as a corteccia concealing their softer side.

Ethics statement: Below you will find affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!

Lingopie (affiliate link) is the Netflix of language learning application that uses real TV shows and movies to help you learn a new language. You can choose a show to watch based on your fluency level, and use the interactive subtitles to get instant translations to help you learn quickly.

Are you interested in improving your Italian in a fun and stress-free manner? Then we highly recommend Serena Capilli's short stories in Italian (affiliate link), designed for beginners, advanced beginners, and lower intermediate learners (A1-B1 CEFR). These stories have been optimised for English speakers in search of a fun, laid-back learning experience! Read our full review here.

Leave a Comment