5

I believe that 'intelligente' is a good translation for the English word 'intelligent'. Is there a suitable one-word translation for the English 'unintelligent'? My dictionary suggests 'poco intelligente' but it offers no single word translation.

6

As reported in this dictionary, you can use the term ottuso.

unintelligent agg. non intelligente, ottuso, stupido.

Looking at Treccani’s dictionary you can read the definition of ottuso, used figuratively:

  1. In senso fig., sempre in contrapp. con acuto: a. Con riferimento alla capacità intellettiva, che manca di penetrazione, tardo a capire, di scarsa sensibilità: mente o., cervello o.; ma sei proprio o.!; per estens., sguardo o., espressione o., che rivelano lentezza mentale.
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3

In theory, there is the Italian word inintelligente, which is exactly corresponding to “unintelligent” (the word intelligente preceded by the negative prefix in-), but it is really uncommon.

As an alternative – but losing the litotes of “unintelligent” – there is a wide range of negative terms for a person or action lacking intelligence: stupido, ottuso, scemo and so on, some of which correspond to similar-sounding English words (stupid, obtuse...).

Personally, to express the nuance of “unintelligent”, I'd tend to use some phrase negating intelligente or another positive term: un ragazzo non molto sveglio for “a quite unintelligent boy”, say.

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