Suprising Words: il maglione

In Italian, words that typically end in –ione are considered feminine:

  • l’abbreviazione
  • l’alluvione
  • la religione
  • la stagione
  • la vocazione

BE CAREFUL THOUGH: The noun il maglione is masculine. The words ending in -ione ‘rule’ is not always reliable! When in doubt, check a dictionary.

This is because maglione is la forma accrescitiva of the noun la maglia (it technically is not a -ione noun). This form of the noun implies something that is bigger or grander. In dictionaries, la forma accrescitiva is often indicated with the abbreviation accr. di + nome.

In Italian, la forma accrescitiva of a feminine noun often results in the noun becoming masculine, such as the noun il maglione.

Can you think of any other nouns that end in -ione that are masculine and not feminine?

From Il vero italianop. 54:


Don’t forget that the adjectives maschile and femminile are used to describe the gender of nouns and mean masculine and feminine, respectively. They also communicate the idea of quality – such a masculine or feminine voice, and so forth. Maschio and femmina are used to describe biological gender.