Italian Word of the Day: Pomeriggio (afternoon)

What comes after il mattino (the morning) and precedes la sera (the evening)? Il pomeriggio (the afternoon), of course!



/po·me·rìg·gio/ – [pomeˈriddʒo]
italian word pomeriggio

According to Treccani, this term is a cross between the Latin adjective pomeridiano (the adjective “afternoon”) and meriggio (a synonym for mezzogiornomidday – that refers to the hours at which the sun is at its warmest and highest in the sky).

Ci vediamo questo pomeriggio!

See you this afternoon!

Pomeridiano, an adjective that also exists in Italian, is the combination of post ‘after’ and meridiemmidday‘, so it literally means “after midday“.

Mio padre fa sempre un sonnellino pomeridiano.

My father always has an afternoon nap.

Genova, Italy city skyline view towards the historic center on a nice afternoon.
Passiamo tutto il pomeriggio a Genova. = We’re spending the whole afternoon in Genova.

Pomeriggio, whose plural form is pomeriggi, is a masculine noun, so it takes the following definite and indefinite articles:

  • il pomeriggio = the afternoon
  • un pomeriggio = an afternoon
  • i pomeriggi = the afternoons
  • dei pomeriggi = (some) afternoons

In Italian, the expression for good afternoon is buon pomeriggio. However, contrary to what you might expect, this greeting isn’t used very frequently. Italians usually go directly from buongiorno (good morning) to buonasera (good evening).

Buon pomeriggio!

Good afternoon!

Tre Cime di Lavaredo on a beautiful summer afternoon

Here are a few key time expressions containing pomeriggio you’ll need to learn:

primo pomeriggio
early afternoon

oggi pomeriggio
this afternoon

questo pomeriggio
this afternoon

tardo pomeriggio
late afternoon

nel pomeriggio
in the afternoon

alle due / tre del pomeriggio
at two / three in the afternoon

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