Italian Word of the Day: Magnifico (magnificent)

The Italian translation for magnificent is magnifico. Both words can ultimately be traced back to the Latin magnifĭcus, which is a combination of magnus (big) and facere (to do).

/ma·gnì·fi·co/

Because magnifico is an adjective, the ending changes depending on whether you are talking about a masculine, feminine or plural subject.

  • magnifico = masculine, singular
  • magnifica = feminine, singular
  • magnifici = masculine, plural
  • magnifiche = feminine, plural

Se sali in cima alla collina, ti potrai godere un magnifico panorama.

If you go to the top of the hill, you can enjoy a magnificent view.

Aerial panorama of turquoise sea water, limestone cliffs and tropical sea shore
Un panorama magnifico = A magnificent view

In addition to denoting beautiful or extraordinary things just like its English equivalent, magnifico may also translate as generous in Italian.

Era un padrone davvero magnifico.

He was a truly generous owner.


It is from this sense of the word that we get the expression fare il magnifico which means to show off one’s wealth by being very generous.

During the Renaissance, Magnifico was also a title of respect attributed to princes, great personalities, doctors and magistrates. Today it is reserved for university rectors, who are known by the title Magnifico Rettore (Rector Magnificus).

Some words that are etymologically related to magnifico include:

  • magnificenza = magnificence
  • magnificamente = magnificently
  • magnificente = magnificent
red deer standing on meadow in nature from front view in vertical composition
Il cervo rosso è un animale magnifico. = The red deer is a magnificent animal.

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