Italian Word of the Day: Sposo (groom)

Many beginners know that the word for husband is marito in Italian, but a less commonly known word is sposo, which is the Italian for groom or bridegroom.

/spò·ṣo/ – [ˈspɔzo]
Italian word "sposo"

The feminine equivalent is sposa which, unsurprisingly, means bride.

In its plural form, sposi, this word can mean two different things depending on the context. On one hand, it can refer to more than one groom, but more commonly, it is used to refer to newlyweds, which can also be expressed as married couple or bride and groom in English. In fact, a very common phrase you will hear after a couple ties the knot is Evviva / Viva gli sposi (Long live the bride and groom!).

With this information in mind, let’s take a look at the definite and indefinite articles used with sposo and sposa:

  • lo sposo = the groom
  • gli sposi = the grooms / the newlyweds
  • uno sposo = a groom
  • degli sposi = some grooms / newlyweds
  • la sposa = the bride
  • le spose = the brides
  • una sposa = a bride
  • delle spose = some brides
Portrait of wedding couple standing with bouquet of flowers in garden

At times, in Italian, the term sposo can encompass the meaning of husband or spouse.

In colloquial form, Italians will also use sposo to ask about a friend’s husband.

One of the most famous works of Italian literature is the historical novel I Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni. According to the Britannica, it was initially translated into English as The Betrothed Lovers, but soon became known as simply The Betrothed.

Some related terms worth knowing include sposare (to marry), sposarsi (to get married) and sposato (married). The word itself comes from the Latin sponsum, the past participle of the verb spondere, meaning “to promise / guarantee / engage in marriage.”

Ethics statement: Below you will find affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!

Lingopie (affiliate link) is the Netflix of language learning application that uses real TV shows and movies to help you learn a new language. You can choose a show to watch based on your fluency level, and use the interactive subtitles to get instant translations to help you learn quickly.

Are you interested in improving your Italian in a fun and stress-free manner? Then we highly recommend Serena Capilli's short stories in Italian (affiliate link), designed for beginners, advanced beginners, and lower intermediate learners (A1-B1 CEFR). These stories have been optimised for English speakers in search of a fun, laid-back learning experience! Read our full review here.

Leave a Comment