Italian Word of the Day: Mite (mild)

The Italian adjective mite (plural: miti), which comes from the Latin mitis of the same meaning, has a number of English translations but in every case, it describes something that lacks severity or harshness.


The first translation, mild or temperate, is mostly used to talk about the climate, weather or air.

Il Regno Unito ha un clima mite.

The UK has a mild climate.

sunset over a row of brightly coloured beach huts at Milford on Sea on the Hampshire coast
Tempo mite = Mild weather

When used to describe a person’s character, it means mild-mannered, gentle or good-natured. It may also translate as lenient when talking about someone who typically doles out punishment such as a parent, referee or judge.

Mia mamma ha un carattere mite.

My mom is mild-mannered.

Il giudice è stato mite con lui.

The judge was lenient with him.

Young veterinarian wearing in white medical gown and gloves, working in clinic with animals. Kind african vet doctor holding hamster in hands, stroking animal and smiling.
Il veterinario ha un carattere mite. = The vet has a gentle character.

In the case of animals, the closest translation is docile, tame or meek.

Il cane è mite. Non ti morderà.

The dog is tame. He won’t bite.

male owner and his Siberian husky dog in the snow
Un cane mite = A tame dog

The final translation, which is moderate or reasonable, is used to describe things, such as prices, conditions or expectations, which aren’t excessive or burdensome.

Abbiamo camminato su una pendenza mite.

We walked up a moderate slope.

Le sue richieste sono miti.*

His demands are reasonable.

*Note: Miti is also the plural of mito, which means idol, myth, legend or folk tale.

Car salesman calculating a price at the modern dealership office
Il prezzo dell’auto è mite. – The car’s price is reasonable.

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