Italian Word of the Day: Grinta (grit / determination / scowl)

A person with a lot of courage and resolve can be described using the noun grinta in Italian. The closest equivalents are grit or determination in English, although other translations such as fighting spirit and drive may also work depending on the context.

Unlike the vast majority of words in Italian, grinta derives, not from a Latin root, but the Gothic grimmitha meaning “(something) that is frightening”.

/grìn·ta/
cover image with the word “grinta” and a boxer in the background

Grinta is a feminine noun whose plural form is grinte. It takes the following definite and indefinite articles:

la grinta

una grinta

le grinte

delle grinte

To say that someone has grit, you can use the expression avere grinta. If someone carries out an act with determination, on the other hand, you can say con grinta. Di grinta means full of drive/determination, as in una persona di grinta (a person full of drive).

Bisogna affrontare la vita con grinta.

You have to face life with determination.


Maria ha più grinta di tutti gli altri messi insieme.

Maria has more grit than all the others put together.


Young determined man in sportswear standing by start line on race track
Un uomo di grinta = A man full of drive

Another possible meaning for grinta, which is more closely related to the original gothic meaning of the word, is scowl.

Quel criminale ha una grinta da far paura!

That criminal has a terrifying scowl!


Related to today’s word is also the adjective grintoso/a (scrappy, gutsy) and the adverb grintosamente (determinedly). Grintoso can also be used to describe fierce and bold clothing.


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