What does grazie mean in Italian?

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Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Laura Teso

What does grazie mean in Italian? Grazie means thank you in Italian. But there’s more to it. Grazie is plural of grazia. This lovely, positive word can mean lots of things: grace and elegance, for example. But also favour, benefit, good graces and generosity.

It derives from the Latin word gratia, which has lots of meanings: favour, friendship, harmony, consideration, gratitude, even indulgence. In Latin to thank is gratias agere.

Until 1800 people didn’t say simply grazie but they used a different, longer idiom: Vi rendo grazie = I pay you back with my gratitude. I know, in Italian is shorter but this is what better expresses its meaning in English.

It seems that the use of “grazie” alone started spreading from Venice, since the first testimonies are in Carlo Goldoni’s comedies. He was a famous Venetian playwright. In the play La donna di garbo (1743), The Sharp-Witted Woman, there is probably the first grazie in a literary work (in Venetian dialect).

Grazie pronunciation

The final E of the word grazie is never mute. You have to hear the -eh. Like this: GRAHT-see-eh.

What does grazie mean in Italian

How to say thank you in Italian? There are many ways. Here you can find the most common ones using the word Grazie.

Grazie mille or Mille grazie

Grazie mille is a more polite form. It can be translated with thank you very much, but literally it means a thousand grazie. When I say it, I like to think that “I wish a thousand of beautiful things” to the other person.

Both grazie mille and mille grazie are correct, but nowadays the second is less common. 

In Italian the use of the word mille to stress a huge quantity is not uncommon. This use actually started already at the time of the Romans. We can find a beautiful and romantic example in one of Catullo’s (a famous poet from Verona) Odes (Carme V): Da mi basia mille, deinde centum = Give me a thousand kisses, and then a hundred.  

In Italian literature, grazie mille first appeared in 1905 in a poem entitled La messe (The harvest) by Giovanni Pascoli. Diceano i grilli grazie mille in coro = The crickets were saying a thousand thanks in unison.

10 ways to say thank you in Italian – variations

Grazie di cuore

Another way to stress your gratitude is Grazie di cuore, literally thanks with the heart. But it’s getting more and more uncommon.

Molte grazie

It means many thanks or thanks a lot, and it’s similar to grazie mille. But instead of specifying the right amount of grazie you wish, you simply say many.

Grazie infinite

This is one I use very much, because I love it to stress how grateful I am. It means endless thanks.

Grazie davvero

It is another way to stress your gratitude. It means thank you, really. To say you really mean it.

Grazie ancora

This mean thanks again. Accent on the o of ancòra, mi raccomando!

Grazie di tutto

That’s the same as in Thank you for everything.

Grazie in anticipo

Accent on the first i: antìcipo. It means Thanks in advance. We Italians say this often when we already know that someone is going to do us a favor.

Grazie lo stesso

Grazie lo stesso means thanks anyway. I heard is not very common in English but in Italian is very popular. It is a way to politely say thank you even when you ask for information/favor but the other person can’t really help you.

Grazie a Dio or Grazie al cielo

Grazie a Dio (thank God) or Grazie al cielo (thank heaven) are ways to express relief and satisfaction.

Thank God that went well. (Grazie a Dio è andata bene).

What does grazie mean in Italian?
What does grazie mille mean in Italian?

How to say “You’re welcome” in Italian

If you want to reply, you can say: Prego (you’re welcome). Here you can read my post about all the different meanings of this word: What does prego mean?

But also: figurati [fee-GOO-rah-tee] that means don’t mention it. The formal version (with people you don’t call by name) is Si figuri [see fee-GOO-ree].

Or non c’è di che [nohn tchèh dee kéh]: there’s no need to (literally there’s nothing to… thank for).

Ironic use of grazie

It can also have an ironic use, to stress the obviousness of a statement.

For example:

    • Lisa si è comprata un’auto nuova e una borsa di Vuitton. (Lisa bought a new car and a Vuitton’s purse).
    • Grazie, ha vinto alla lotteria! (Thank you, she won the lottery!)

Another example:

    • Mi piacerebbe essere ricca e viaggiare per il mondo. (I’d love to be rich and travel the world).
    • Grazie mille! (Thank you very much! Meaning: Who wouldn’t like that?)

Third example:

Imagine you are late and someone else “steals” your parking spot. Well, if you don’t want to be extremely rude you can just say: “Grazie tante, eh!”, Thanks a lot! Same thing when a colleague or a member of your family doesn’t help you out on a certain circumstance. You often say ironically Grazie mille.

Thanks for

Thanks for can be translated as grazie per or grazie di.

With a noun:

    • Grazie del regalo. Thanks for the present.
    • Grazie per la bella serata. Thanks for the lovely evening.

With a sentence:

    • Grazie per avermelo detto. Thanks for telling me.
    • Grazie di aver badato al mio gatto. Thanks for taking care of my cat.

There are many ways to say thank you in Italian, depending on the context and the level of formality. I hope my post “What does grazie mean in Italian” was exhaustive (and not exhausting). So, grazie for reading!

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