Food for Thought: Mastering the Italian Verb ‘Nutrire’


Buongiorno, Italian language enthusiasts! Today, we embark on a flavorful journey delving into the depths of one of Italy’s most essential verbs: “nutrire,” meaning “to nourish” or “to feed.” Just as a well-prepared meal tantalizes the taste buds, ‘nutrire’ enriches your Italian vocabulary and allows you to express your love for food, nourishment, and more. So, grab a plate and let’s uncover the delicious possibilities of ‘nutrire’ together!

1. The Basics of ‘Nutrire’

‘Nutrire’ is a versatile Italian verb that holds different meanings and applications within everyday conversations. Here’s a feast of its main uses:

Expressing Physical Feeding

At its core, ‘nutrire’ addresses the act of physically feeding someone or something. Use it to describe the process of providing sustenance to people, animals, or plants. Consider these examples:

  • Ho nutrito il mio cane con il cibo speciale. (I fed my dog special food.)
  • I nonni nutrono i nipoti con amore e dolci. (Grandparents nourish their grandchildren with love and sweets.)
  • Nutrire le piante regolarmente le mantiene sane. (Regularly feeding plants keeps them healthy.)

Nurturing Emotions or Ideas

Beyond the realm of physical sustenance, ‘nutrire’ also reflects the metaphorical act of nurturing emotions, ideas, or a sense of passion. Use it to describe the process of fostering and fostering growth. See the examples below:

  • Nutrisci il tuo amore per la musica ogni giorno. (Nurture your love for music every day.)
  • Nutrire una relazione richiede impegno e dedizione. (Nurturing a relationship requires commitment and dedication.)
  • L’autore ha nutrito l’idea del suo romanzo per anni. (The author nurtured the idea for his novel for years.)

2. Idiomatic Expressions with ‘Nutrire’

Just as Italian cuisine is rich with flavors, the Italian language amazes with idiomatic expressions that incorporate ‘nutrire.’ Here are a few savory treats for you:

Nutrire dei sospetti

Literally translating to “to nurture suspicions,” this expression refers to fostering or harboring doubts or suspicions about something or someone.

Nutrire grandi speranze

This phrase, meaning “to nurture great hopes,” signifies nurturing high expectations or having big dreams.

Nutrire l’odio

When someone “nutrire l’odio,” they are nourishing or harboring hatred towards someone or something.


As our linguistic feast draws to a close, we hope you have savored the various flavors and applications of the Italian verb ‘nutrire.’ Remember, just as food nurtures the body, ‘nutrire’ nourishes your Italian language skills, allowing you to express not only physical feeding but also the nurturing of emotions, ideas, and passions. So, go forth and ‘nutrire’ your Italian journey, adding this versatile verb to your linguistic pantry. Buon appetito and happy learning!