Italian Word of the Day: Fracasso (smash / uproar)

The word for the violent noise something makes when it smashes against a hard surface is fracasso (masculine, plural: fracassi) in Italian. Derived from the verb fracassare, it best translates into English as to smash.


Learn about ‘fracasso’ with our video

Il vaso si è rotto con gran fracasso.

The vase broke with a loud smash.

More generally, fracasso can refer to a loud noise or racket of any kind.

I bambini stanno facendo troppo fracasso nel cortile. Lo farò presente alla prossima riunione di condominio.

The children are making too much of a racket in the courtyard. I’ll point it out at the next condominium meeting.

Annoyed teacher touching his head during break between lessons while group of kids having fun on background
Bambini, smettetela con questo fracasso! Ho mal di testa! – Kids, knock off this racket! I have a headache!

Figuratively this includes the public expression of protest or outrage in response to a scandal or sensational event. When used in this sense of the word, you’ll often see it accompanied by the verb fare (to do/make):

  • fare fracasso = to cause an uproar
  • fare gran / molto fracasso = to cause a great uproar

La notizia del suo arresto ha fatto molto fracasso.

The news of his arrest caused a great uproar.

In informal Italian, fracasso (di) is an accepted synonym for molto (a lot of / many).

C’era un fracasso di gente alla festa di Beatrice.

There were lots of people at Beatrice’s party.

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