Italian Word of the Day: Edificio (building)

One of the primary translations for building in Italian, as in a physical structure with a roof and walls, is edificio (masculine, plural: edifici). If you find it difficult to remember, just think of the English word edifice!

IPA: /e·di·fì·cio/

Both the Italian and English terms derive from the Latin aedificium of the same meaning.

L’edificio è crollato durante il terremoto.

The building collapsed during the earthquake.


The corresponding verb is edificare, meaning to build, construct or erect a building, but keep in mind that it isn’t as commonly used as the verb costruire.

Below are a few types of buildings with which you might be familiar:

  • casa = house
  • scuola = school
  • palazzo = palace, apartment building, hall
  • palazzina = luxury apartment building
  • grattacielo = skyscraper
  • condominio = condominium, apartment building
  • caseggiato = apartment block
  • basilica = church, cathedral
  • caserma = barracks, large building
  • fabbrica = factory
  • immobile = property, estate

Edificio isn’t the only word in Italian that translates as building. Some possible synonyms include fabbricato (a building of considerable size used for various purposes), stabile (an urban building intended for homes, offices and shops) and costruzione (a structure).

view of downtown Lucca in Italy
Edifici storici a Lucca = Historic buildings in Lucca

In addition to building, edificio can also refer to a) an argument or case in a court of law or b) a framework, order or organised structure.

L’accusa ha demolito l’edificio della difesa.

The prosecution demolished the defence’s case.


Lo statuto va considerato come il mattone fondamentale su cui costruire l’edificio sociale.

The statute must be considered the fundamental building block upon which social order is built.


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