[ ih-tal-yuh n ]
/ ɪˈtæl yən /


of or relating to Italy, its people, or their language.


a native or inhabitant of Italy, or a person of Italian descent.
a Romance language, the language of Italy, official also in Switzerland. Abbreviation: It, It., Ital.

Origin of Italian

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word Italiānus. See Italy, -an


pronunciation note for Italian

The pronunciation of Italian with an initial [ahy] /aɪ/ sound (pronounced like the word eye ) and often with level stress on the first and second syllables: [ahy-tal-yuh n] /ˈaɪˈtæl yən/ is heard primarily from uneducated speakers. This pronunciation is sometimes facetious or disparaging in purpose and is usually considered offensive. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for italian

British Dictionary definitions for italian

/ (ɪˈtæljən) /


the official language of Italy and one of the official languages of Switzerland: the native language of approximately 60 million people. It belongs to the Romance group of the Indo-European family, and there is a considerable diversity of dialects
a native, citizen, or inhabitant of Italy, or a descendant of one


relating to, denoting, or characteristic of Italy, its inhabitants, or their language
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