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dolce far niente

[dawl-che fahr nyen-te] /ˈdɔl tʃɛ fɑr ˈnyɛn tɛ/
noun, Italian.
pleasing inactivity.
Origin of dolce far niente
literally, (it is) sweet to do nothing Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dolce far niente
Historical Examples
  • They enjoyed the dolce far niente; they were luxurious in their enjoyment of the illusion of being boys once more.

    The Sea Jules Michelet
  • She enjoyed the 'dolce far niente' in all the force of the term.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • Would that we all might rise to the dolce far niente of an American consulate!

  • Will they, in the course of generations of dolce far niente, lose their stamina?

    Bizarre Lawton Mackall
  • He is adventurous and roving and romantic, and has the dolce far niente in the blood.

  • What true Italian does not prefer the dolce far niente to gain?

  • "I would not have thought an Englishman so—dolce far niente," said Magin.

  • I really cannot undertake to keep Tribble in dolce far niente, and I give Mrs. Tribble notice to leave.

    John Bull, Junior Max O'Rell
  • But the whole party is stricken with "camp-fever," "Indian laziness," the dolce far niente.

    Woodcraft and Camping George Washington Sears (Nessmuk)
  • When he did arouse himself from this form of lethargy, it was only to indulge in another variety of dolce far niente—swimming.

British Dictionary definitions for dolce far niente

dolce far niente

/ˈdoltʃe far ˈnjɛnte/
pleasant idleness
Word Origin
literally: sweet doing nothing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dolce far niente

1814, from Italian, literally "sweet doing nothing." The Latin roots are dulcis "sweet" (see dulcet), facere "to make, do," and nec entem, literally "not a being."

This phrase, frequent enough in English literature, does not seem to occur in any Italian author of note. Howells says that he found it current among Neapolitan lazzaroni, but it is not included in any collection of Italian proverbial sayings. [Walsh]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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