Italian Word of the Day: Veloce (fast)

The Italian word for fast or quick is veloce. It derives from the Latin word velox meaning quick.

IPA: /veˈlo.tʃe/

When I was first learning Italian, I found this word very easy to remember because it shares the same origin as the English word velocity, not to mention the name of everyone’s favourite dinosaur in Jurassic Park, the velociraptor!

Because it is an adjective, the ending changes from e to i if you are describing a plural noun.

I velociraptor erano molto veloci.

Velociraptors were very fast.


Female running at underground parking

The word veloce is echoed in other words related to quickness. For example, the noun velocità means speed, velocizzare means to speed up, and velocemente is an adverb meaning quickly or swiftly.

Vieni, dobbiamo muoverci il più velocemente possibile! Se no, quei dinosauri ci mangeranno!

Come on, we have to move as quickly as possible. Otherwise those dinosaurs will eat us!


A common synonym for veloce is rapido (rapid). As in English, the two are largely interchangeable but the former is more frequently used in daily conversation.

Rapido was also the name for a type of train in Italy that travelled medium and long distances until the eighties. Today, the main trains are Frecciarossa (red arrow), Frecciargento (silver arrow) and Frecciabianca (white arrow).

Another word you may hear instead of veloce is forte. The primary meaning of this adjective is strong but when used in conjunction with the verbs andare (to go) or correre (to run) in reference to moving things, it can also mean fast.

La macchina va più forte della moto.

The car goes faster than the motorcycle.


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