Hi I know nothing about Italian language. We have to do a lip sync opera for this Christmas and we'll this "Libiamo, .." song. :)
I looked up 'libiamo' in the internet Italian dictionary but couldn't find. What is the original form of the word and what does it mean? and I would also be grateful if someone teach me what the words mean in the phrase word by word. Thank you!

  • What do you mean by “the internet Italian dictionary”?
    – DaG
    Dec 7, 2022 at 14:28
  • it's a Italian-Korean dictionary by naver.com (dict.naver.com/itkodict/#/main) and I tried Collins Italian-English dictionary. I don't know the conjugation of Italian so can't find the root word.
    – Chan Kim
    Dec 7, 2022 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


Libiamo comes from the verb libare, it is the exortative imperative. Libare is a literary verb, as you can see in the following link to the Treccani dictionary:


It means 'to drink' with an accent on delightful drinking, as in a feast.

The beginning of the text is :

Libiamo, libiamo ne' lieti calici, che la bellezza infiora

E la fuggevol, fuggevol ora s'inebri a voluttà.

This could be translated this way:

Let's drink from our joyful glasses, which beauty adorns,

And let the fleeting moment be inebriated by voluptuousness.

This is, in La Traviata, the toast of Violetta in a feast. She is sick of phthisis and knows she is going to die. So, she remembers that time is fleeting.

  • 1
    Great answer! Only, I feel that, in the libretto authors' pretentious Italian (here, Francesco Maria Piave) a voluttà might mean “at will, as much as one wants” as in a piacere, a piacimento, a volontà. What do you think?
    – DaG
    Dec 7, 2022 at 23:42
  • 1
    Grazie mille! It is possible that you are right about 'a voluttà', this opera librettos have a particular language, let say teh truth, as literary value they are poor poetry. Dec 7, 2022 at 23:55
  • But it seems to me more plausible the interpereation 'inebriated by voluptuousness', I also found a paraphrase that translated this way. And the term 'voluttà' doesn't seem to me to have the meaning of wiil in italian, but of intense pleasure only. See treccani.it/vocabolario/volutta. Moreover, this interpretation is more consistent with the context of sensual love that caracterizes that aria of Violetta. Dec 8, 2022 at 0:02
  • Thanks alot! I;m at work but I'll check later.
    – Chan Kim
    Dec 8, 2022 at 1:27
  • @BakerStreet: Piacere too, in itself, mostly points to (physical etc.) pleasure, but in the phrase a piacere it just means “as much as you want”, even said of bread or salt. What bothers me is that a isn't an usual way to introduce the “subject” of an impersonal verb. But you never know.
    – DaG
    Dec 8, 2022 at 9:27

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