the official language of Italy and one of the official languages of Switzerland: the native language of approximately 60 million people. It belongs to the Romance group of the Indo-European family, and there is a considerable diversity of dialects
a native, citizen, or inhabitant of Italy, or a descendant of one
1422, "native of Italy," from It. Italiano, from Italia "Italy," from L. Italia, probably from a Gk. alteration of Oscan Viteliu "Italy," but originally only the southwestern point of the peninsula, perhaps originally "land of cattle," related to L. vitulus "calf," or else a tribal name from an Illyrian word of unknown meaning. Italianate (1572) is from It. Italianato "rendered Italian," from Italiano.