Italian Word of the Day: Lago (lake)

The word for lake in Italian in lago, which derives from the Latin lacum of the same meaning.

cover image with the word “lago” and its translation written on a notepad next to a cup of coffee

Lago is a masculine noun whose plural form in laghi. Remember to insert the letter ‘h’ between ‘g’ and ‘i’ to preserve the hardness of the ‘g’!

il lago = the lake
un lago = a lake

i laghi = the lakes
dei laghi = (some) lakes

Preferiresti vivere vicino al mare o vicino a un lago?

Would you rather live near the sea or near a lake?

Serene beautiful lake in morning mountains, Oregon, USA.
Un bellissimo lago avvolto dalla nebbia – A beautiful lake shrouded in mist

The largest freshwater lakes (laghi d’acqua dolce) in the world are i Laghi Grandi, or the Great Lakes, located along the border between il Canada and gli Stati Uniti.

The largest Italian lakes, on the other hand, are Lago di Garda, Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como.

George Clooney è in vacanza sul lago di Como.

George Clooney is on holiday in Lake Como.

Some other kinds of lakes include:

  • lago d’acqua salata = salt lake
  • lago glaciale = glacial lake
  • lago artificiale = man-made lake
  • lago d’acqua salmastra = brackish lake

Lago can also be used figuratively to refer to a pool of liquid, such as water or blood, or the flooded area of a living space.

C’è un lago attorno al gabinetto! Che cos’hai combinato?

There’s a puddle of water around the toilet! What did you do?

Broken washing machine leaking on the floor, a woman is cleaning with a mop
Sono tornata a casa e ho trovato un lago nel bagno. Si era rotta la lavatrice! = I came home and found a big puddle of water in the bathroom. The washing machine broke!

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