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dolce far niente

[dawl-che fahr nyen-te] /ˈdɔl tʃɛ fɑr ˈnyɛn tɛ/
noun, Italian.
pleasing inactivity.
Origin of dolce far niente
literally, (it is) sweet to do nothing Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dolce-far-niente
Historical Examples
  • Resolutely he kept his face set before him, allowing himself no backward glances into the dolce-far-niente land left behind.

    The Wall Between Sara Ware Bassett
British Dictionary definitions for dolce-far-niente

dolce far niente

/ˈdoltʃe far ˈnjɛnte/
pleasant idleness
Word Origin
literally: sweet doing nothing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dolce-far-niente

dolce far niente

1814, from Italian, literally "sweet doing nothing." The Latin roots are dulcis "sweet" (see dulcet), facere "to make, do," and nec entem, literally "not a being."

This phrase, frequent enough in English literature, does not seem to occur in any Italian author of note. Howells says that he found it current among Neapolitan lazzaroni, but it is not included in any collection of Italian proverbial sayings. [Walsh]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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