How to Describe People in Italian

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A rich, varied and appropriate vocabulary is essential if you want to upgrade your Italian, follow this page to learn How to Describe People in Italian.

These words are mainly adjectives so you need to agree with the noun.

Physical Appearance

One of the most common ways to describe people is by their physical appearance. In Italian, you can use adjectives such as alto (tall), basso (short), magro (thin), grosso (fat), bello (beautiful), and brutto (ugly).
Additionally, you can describe someone’s eye colour as occhi azzurri (blue eyes), occhi marroni (brown eyes), or occhi verdi (green eyes), and their hair colour as capelli biondi (blond hair), capelli neri (black hair), or capelli rossi (red hair). You can also describe someone’s skin tone as pelle chiara (light skin) or pelle scura (dark skin).

Describing someone’s Appearance – Describe People in Italian

General appearance:

Bello/bella (good looking)

  • un uomo bello
  • una donna bella

Carino/carina (pretty/nice)

Bello/bella (good looking)

Brutto/brutta (ugly)

  • un uomo brutto
  • una donna brutta
Brutto/brutta (ugly)

Elegante (well-dressed)

  • una donna elegante
  • un uomo elegante

Adj ending in -e don’t change in masculine and feminine

Elegante (well-dressed)

Attraente (attractive)

  • una ragazza attraente
  • un ragazzo attraente

Adj ending in -e don’t change in masculine and feminine

Attraente (attractive)


Alto/alta (tall)

  • una ragazza alta
  • un uomo alto

Basso/bassa (short)

Quanto sei alto? Sono alto un metro e settanta/1.70 cm (How tall are you? I’m 170 cm tall)

Use the verb “essere” to talk about height

Alto/alta (tall) Basso/bassa (short)


Magro/magra (slim)

Grasso/grassa (overweight)

  • una ragazza magra
  • un uomo grasso
Magro/magra (slim)

Grasso/grassa (overweight

Muscoloso/muscolosa (muscular)

  • una ragazzo muscoloso


  • una ragazza gracile

Adj ending in -e don’t change in masculine and feminine

Muscoloso/muscolosa (muscular)


In Italian “capelli” it’s a plural word –> i capelli

When you add the adjective of the colour it must agree with the plural word “capelli

You can also say capello when you refer to just one single hair if you for example find one grey hair on your head.

Capelli (hair)


  • I capelli biondi
  • I tuoi capelli sono neri (your hair is black)

Biondi (blonde)

Rossi (red)

Castani (brown)

Bianchi (white)

Neri (black)

Brizzolati (grey-haired)

Scuri (dark)

Chiari (light)

Capelli (hair)

Capelli (hair)


  • I capelli lisci
  • I tuoi capelli sono ricci

Lisci (Straight)

Ricci (Curly)

Mossi (Wavy) 

Capelli (hair)

Capelli (hair)


The adjective bald does not refer to the hair but to the man or woman without hair:

  • L’uomo calvo / gli uomini calvi
  • La donna calva / le donne calve
Capelli (hair)


Carnagione (skin tone)

Pelle chiara (Light Skin)

Pelle scura (Dark Skin)

Speaking about a person’s skin we can say:

  • Un uomo con la pelle chiara / un uomo dalla pelle chiara
  • Una donna con la pelle scura / una donna dalla pelle scura

You can use the preposition con as well as dalla.

Carnagione (skin tone)


Età (age)

Neonato (Newborn)

Bambino (child)

Giovane (young)

Adolescente (adolescent/teenager)

Adulto (adult)

Mezza età (middle age)

Anziano (elderly/old)

Sui 30/40/50 (on his/her 30/40/50)

When we don’t say the exact age of a person we can say:

  • un uomo sui 40 anni
  • una donna sulla trentina (circa 30 anni / about 30)
Età (age)

Personality Traits

Another way to describe people is by their personality traits. Some common Italian adjectives to describe personality include gentile (kind), paziente (patient), intelligente (intelligent), divertente (funny), timido (shy), and sicuro di sé (self-confident).
You can also use phrases such as una persona molto socievole (a very sociable person), un carattere forte (a strong character), or sa ascoltare gli altri (knows how to listen to others) to describe someone’s personality.

Describing someone’s Personality – Describe People in Italian

Carattere e personalità (personality)

Amichevole (friendly)

Scortese (unfriendly)

Gentile (kind)

Divertente (fun)

Intelligente (clever)

Timido (shy)

Pessimista/Ottimista (pessimist/optimist)

Pigro (lazy)

Vivace/Esuberante (exuberant)

Carattere e personalità (personality)

Describing someone’s Feelings – Describe People in Italian


Felice (happy)

Preoccupato (Worried)

Triste (Sad)

Annoiato (Bored)

Ansioso (Anxious)

Sicuro di sé (Self-confident)

Curioso (Curious)

Invidioso (Envious)

Geloso (Jealous)

Arrabbiato (Angry)



You can describe people by their behavior. This can include adjectives such as affabile (friendly), generoso (generous), educato (polite), attento (attentive), intraprendente (enterprising), and irascibile (irritable).

Learning how to describe people in Italian can be a fun and useful skill. By using adjectives and phrases to describe someone’s physical appearance, personality traits, and behaviour, you can better communicate with native Italian speakers and enhance your understanding of the language. So go ahead and practice describing the people you know in Italian, and see how it can improve your language skills!

What’s next?

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How to Order at the Bar in Italy


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