The adjective "maledetto" is translated into English as "accursed", "damned" or "cursed". Is it current usage in Italian? Is it a regional term? Is it a swearword?

  • 4
    It's a normal, standard Italian word. What makes you single it out?
    – DaG
    Nov 9 '16 at 13:54
  • @DaG A few years ago there was an Italian tourist using it all the time here where I live. Another Italian who has lived here for a long time said it's a regionalism and that most people in northern Italy never use it.
    – Centaurus
    Nov 9 '16 at 14:00
  • 4
    It has nothing regional; it's an adjective derived from the past participle of maledire (to curse), and the corresponding noun is maledizione (curse). Normal, Italian words.
    – DaG
    Nov 9 '16 at 14:02
  • 5
    @Centaurus I am from northern Italy and I use it often. I have no idea why anyone would tell you it is a regionalism.
    – Denis Nardin
    Nov 9 '16 at 14:09
  • @DenisNardin Nor do I.
    – Centaurus
    Nov 9 '16 at 14:15

The Collins Dictionary entry may be helpful also. Note that the usage is mainly in the figurative sense in common contermporary speech.


past participle of verb maledire (adjective)

  • (dannato) accursed

  • (nelle imprecazioni) cursed, damned

  • (figurative, informal) damned, blasted, confounded

    • avere una fame maledetta to be damned hungry
    • spegni quella maledetta radio! turn off that damn radio!

    • ho una paura maledetta dei ragni I'm scared stiff of spiders

    • è stato un giorno maledetto it's been a bloody awful day

    • non vedo l'ora di finire questo maledetto lavoro I can't wait to finish this damn work.

  • Can I use it with reference to "food", "radio", "spiders", "cold weather", whatever bothers me, without offending anyone?
    – Centaurus
    Nov 9 '16 at 14:18
  • 1
    Yes, though in the case of food it would sound offensive to those who prepared it. You would probably say "cibo maledetto" if it made you feel bad.
    – user519
    Nov 9 '16 at 14:23
  • 1
    Written Italian is sometimes very easy for me to understand. "Não vejo a hora de terminar este maldito trabalho" would be the Portuguese translation of your last sentence.
    – Centaurus
    Nov 9 '16 at 14:55

Maledetto is a perfectly correct and widely used word with the meanings you suggested.

It is not technically a swearword but rather an expression of outburst, sometimes with an irritated tone sometimes joking, towards someone else that is procuring you bother or annoyance:

Cosa pretende ancora da me, quel maledetto?
(What does that unbearable man expect from me yet?)

and in a more colloquial form:

Vinci sempre tu a poker, maledetto!
(You always win when playing poker, bastard!)

Another use is with a religious meaning, and in this case the English translation would be cursed, damned:

Andate via da me, maledetti, nel fuoco eterno preparato per il diavolo e i suoi angeli
(Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels)


Sometimes maledetto! is used often as a funny or friendly way to say something like you are smarter than me! That way is often used as a joke, there I could understand what your Italian friend said saying that his use was "regional".


I would also say that it is pretty common, but not amongst the newer generations. They use different words to convey the various meanings of maledetto and these are in many cases vulgarisms.

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