Italian Word of the Day: Silenzioso (quiet)

One look at the Italian word silenzioso and you can easily guess that it means quiet or silent in English.

IPA: /si·len·zió·so/

Because it is an adjective, the ending changes depending on the subject’s gender and number.

  • silenzioso = masculine, singular
  • silenziosa = feminine, singular
  • silenziosi = masculine, plural
  • silenziose = feminine, plural

Mi piace lavorare in questa stanza perché è molto silenziosa.

I like working in this room because it is very quiet.

When talking about people, silenzioso can either be a compliment or a criticism depending on whether you are referring to the person’s inherent character or their actual behaviour. For example, the following phrase can easily be interpreted as a criticism of the boy’s temperament.

Quel ragazzo è molto silenzioso. Non parla mai.

That boy is very quiet. He never speaks.

The second phrase, on the other hand, is complimenting the woman’s discreet behaviour.

Maria è la vicina di casa ideale. È molto silenziosa, soprattutto di sera.

Maria is the ideal neighbour. She’s very quiet, especially in the evening.

Some important words related to silenzioso include:

  • silenzio = silence, quiet (noun)
  • silenziosamente = silently, quietly
  • silenziare = to silence
  • silenziatore = silencer, muffler (on a car)
  • silenziosità = noiselessness

Those who carry around a smartphone may choose to put it into modalità silenzioso (silent mode) when attending a meeting or while watching a movie at the cinema so as not to disturb other people.

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