Italian Word of the Day: Cuore (heart)

Are you feeling romantic now that St. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner? Then let’s take a look at the word for heart in Italian, which is cuore (masculine, plural: cuori).

IPA: [ˈkwɔːre]

As in English, the word cuore can refer to the muscular organ that pumps blood around the body, the symbol ♥ represented by two equal curves meeting at a point, or the centre of a person’s thoughts or emotions.

Il mio cuore ha cominciato a battere così forte che non potevo respirare.

My heart started beating so fast that I couldn’t breathe.


Ti amo con tutto il cuore!

I love you with all my heart!


Whereas a heart attack is formally referred to as an infarto, you can also use the colloquial expression attacco di cuore. A heartbeat is known as battito cardiaco or simply battito del cuore.

As you can probably imagine, there are loads of expressions that contain the word cuore. Below is just a taster of the most common ones.

  • cuore d’oro = heart of gold
  • cuore di pecora / coniglio = scaredy-cat
  • cuore di leone = brave
  • cuore di pietra = cold heart
  • cuore infranto / spezzato = broken heart
  • cuore solitario = lonely heart
  • senza cuore = heartless
  • gran / buon cuore = big heart

In addition to heart, cuore can also mean core, essence or gist. What’s more, it is often used as a term of endearment to mean someone’s sweet little boy or girl (e.g. cuore della mamma).


Idioms featuring the word ‘cuore’

Avere il cuore sulle labbra

Literal translation: to have one’s heart on one’s lips
English meaning:
to wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve


Avere il cuore a pezzi

Literal translation: to have one’s heart in pieces
English meaning:
to be brokenhearted


Mi si stringe il cuore

Literal translation: my heart squeezes
English meaning:
it breaks my heart


Tenere / Avere a cuore

Literal translation: to keep / to have in one’s heart
English meaning:
to care deeply (about something / someone)


Mettersi il cuore in pace

Literal translation: to put one’s heart at peace
English meaning:
to come to terms with something, to accept a situation for what it is


Avere il cuore in gola

Literal translation: to have one’s heart in one’s throat
English meaning:
to have one’s heart in one’s throat


Col cuore in mano

Literal translation: with one’s heart in one’s hand
English meaning:
from the heart


Rita Pavone – Cuore

Rita Pavone is an Italian actress and singer who enjoyed success through the 1960s. Below you can listen to one of her hit songs entitled Cuore, which was released in 1963.

Mio cuore
Tu stai soffrendo
Cosa posso fare per te
Mi sono innamorata
Per te pace no, no, non c’e!

Al mondo
Se rido, se piango
E solo tu dividi con me
Ogni lacrima, ogni palpito
Ogni attimo d’amor!

Sto vivendo con te
I miei primi tormenti
Le mie prime felicità
Da, da quando l’ho conosciuto
Per me, per me più pace non c’e!

Io gli voglio bene
Sai, un mondo di bene
E tu batti dentro di me, ah, ah
Ad ogni piccola, ad ogni tenera
Sensazione d’amor!

My heart
You are suffering
What can I do for you
I fell in love
For you peace no, no, there isn’t any!

In the world
If I laugh, if I cry
And only you share with me Every tear, every beat
Every moment of love!

I am living with you
My first torments
My first happiness
Since, since I met him
For me, for me there is no peace!

I love him
You know, so so much
And you beat inside me, ah, ah
To every little, to every tender
Feeling of love!