Italian Word of the Day: Perdente (loser / losing)

In every aspect of life, there are inevitably winners and losers. The word for the former is vincitore, whereas the latter is our word of the day: perdente.

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

Perdente is a noun that can be either masculine or feminine. The plural form for both genders is perdenti with an -i on the end. The only way to ascertain the subject is to pay close attention to the accompanying definite and indefinite articles.

un / il perdente

una / la perdente

i / dei perdenti

le / delle perdenti

As in English, it can denote a person who loses a contest, game, match or any other kind of competition, or more broadly, someone who fails frequently or is unsuccessful in life.

Il perdente ha richiesto una rivincita.

The loser requested a rematch.

Mi dispiace dirtelo, ma sei e sarai sempre un perdente!

I’m sorry to tell you this, but you are and always will be a loser!

person with hooded shirt, sitting alone in city stairs with hands on the head
Sono stufo di essere un perdente! = I’m tired of being a loser.

Another popular, more colloquial term in Italian for someone who generally “loses in life” is sfigato/a. It also means unlucky. Another synonym is fallito which means unsuccessful or failed. It can be more offensive than sfigato.

Perdente can also be an adjective, in which case it translates as losing. For example, the losing number would be il numero perdente whereas the losing card would be la carta perdente.

La squadra perdente è uscita dal campo sotto i fischi del pubblico.

The losing team walked off the field to the boos of the spectators.

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