dolce far niente

[ dawl-che fahr nyen-te ]
/ ˈdɔl tʃɛ fɑr ˈnyɛn tɛ /

noun Italian.

pleasing inactivity.

Nearby words

  1. dol,
  2. dol.,
  3. dolabriform,
  4. dolby,
  5. dolce,
  6. dolce vita,
  7. dolcelatte,
  8. doldrums,
  9. dole,
  10. dole bludger

Origin of dolce far niente

literally, (it is) sweet to do nothing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dolce far niente

  • Resolutely he kept his face set before him, allowing himself no backward glances into the dolce-far-niente land left behind.

    The Wall Between|Sara Ware Bassett

British Dictionary definitions for dolce far niente

dolce far niente

/ Italian (ˈdoltʃe far ˈnjɛnte) /


pleasant idleness

Word Origin for dolce far niente

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

Word Origin and History for dolce far niente

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