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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dolce far niente
Historical Examples
  • She enjoyed the 'dolce far niente' in all the force of the term.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • "I would not have thought an Englishman so—dolce far niente," said Magin.

  • Egypt, with all its dolce far niente, was never an idle land for the laborer.

    Our Italy Charles Dudley Warner
  • Will they, in the course of generations of dolce far niente, lose their stamina?

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

  • I do not know whether he was her dolce far niente, or her grandson by her second husband.

    Remarks Bill Nye
  • 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
  • When he did arouse himself from this form of lethargy, it was only to indulge in another variety of dolce far niente—swimming.

  • Surely there must be some industries pursued in this metropolis of the dolce far niente.

    Romantic Spain John Augustus O'Shea
  • Is this the dolce far niente of the Italians, the sweet do-nothing of the tropics?

    Equatorial America Maturin M. Ballou
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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