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Spanish Vocabulary for the Winter Season

Do you know vocabulary to talk about winter in Spanish? This lesson should get you up to speed on Spanish terms to talk about all things winter... depending upon what part of the world you are in, of course!


Winter Basics

First off, do you know how to say "winter" in Spanish? Let's find out in a clip from our Yabla Spanish video library, which also mentions the name of the first of the winter months in Spanish:


En diciembre, empieza el invierno.

In December, winter starts.

Caption 25, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption 


Now let's hear the pronunciation of the next three winter months:


Enero. Febrero. Marzo.

January. February. March.

Captions 2-4, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption


Having said that, bear in mind that in countries in the southern hemisphere of South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay), the colder, winter months are the opposite:


Junio. Julio. Agosto. Septiembre.

June. July. August. September.

Captions 7-10, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption


Now that you know how to say "winter" in Spanish and the names of the various months in which it can fall, don't forget to learn or brush up on the terms for the additional seasons in Spanish


Names of Winter Clothes in Spanish

Of course, since some countries are warm year-round, what constitutes "winter clothes" varies depending upon where one lives, as Ana Carolina explains in the following clip:


El Ecuador, al igual que el resto de países latinoamericanos, se encuentra en la zona tórrida, es decir, que acá nunca cae nieve.

Ecuador, just like the rest of Latin American countries, is located in the tropical zone; in other words, snow never falls here.

Captions 34-37, Ana Carolina Símbolos de Navidad

 Play Caption


With this in mind, let's learn some vocabulary to describe Spanish articles of clothing in regions with colder winter climates:


el abrigo: the coat

las botas: the boots

la bufanda: the scarf

el gorro/el sombrero: the hat/cap

los guantes: the gloves

los mitones: the mittens

las orejeras: the earmuffs

el jersey/el suéter: the sweater

el traje de nieve: the snowsuit


Now, let's hear a few of these in a catchy proverb:


"En enero bufanda, abrigo y sombrero".

"In January, scarf, coat, and hat."

Caption 29, Aprendiendo con Silvia Dichos populares - Part 1

 Play Caption


More Winter Nouns

Next, let's go over several additional nouns that are often associated with the winter season:


la bola de nieve: the snowball 

el carámbano/el témpano: the icicle 

la chimenea/el hogar: the fireplace

el copo de nieve: the snowflake 

el esquí: skiing

el frío: the cold

el hombre de nieve/el muñeco de nieve: the snowman 

la nieve: the snow

el patinaje sobre hielo: ice skating

los patines de hielo: the ice skates

la pelea de bolas de nieve: the snowball fight

la pista de patinaje sobre hielo: the ice skating rink

la tabla de snowboard: the snowboard

la tormenta de nieve: the snowstorm

el trineo: the sled 


Let's listen to a few of these pronounced in excerpts from Yabla Spanish videos:


Sin embargo, la nieve y los muñecos de nieve

However, snow and snowmen

Caption 38, Ana Carolina Símbolos de Navidad

 Play Caption


Cuando tengo una pelea de bolas de nieve, tengo que llevar guantes.

When I have a snowball fight, I have to wear gloves.

Captions 13-14, Aprendiendo con Zulbany Piensa rápido - Part 1

 Play Caption


Winter Verbs:

Up next are some winter verbs for talking about sports, activities, and weather phenomena:


andar en trineo: to sled 

calentarse: to get warm

congelarse: to freeze

derretirse: to melt

deslizarse: to slip

encender una hoguera/un fuego: to build a fire 

esquíar: to ski

hacer frío: to be cold 

hacer snowboard: to snowboard

hacer un muñeco de nieve: to build a snowman

hibernar: to hibernate

lanzar bolas de nieve: to throw snowballs

nevar: to snow 

patinar sobre hielo: to ice skate 

resfriarse: to catch a cold 


To learn more ways to talk about catching a cold in Spanish, check out our lesson on sickness and health in Spanish. In the meantime, let's hear a few of these winter verbs in context along with some of our previously mentioned winter nouns:


La nieve es muy molesta cuando se empieza a derretir, pero también es muy emocionante cuando empieza a nevar.

The snow is very annoying when it starts to melt, but it is also very exciting when it begins to snow.

Captions 39-40, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 2

 Play Caption

y por la tarde encendíamos un fuego en la chimenea

and in the afternoon, we would light a fire in the fireplace.

Caption 55, Aprendiendo con Silvia Recuerdos de infancia - Part 3

 Play Caption


Winter Adjectives

Let's conclude by learning some wintery adjectives!


blanco: white

brillante/reluciente: sparkling, glittering 

gélido/glacial: icy, frosty

cubierto de nieve/nevado/níveo: snowy

congelado/helado: frozen, freezing, chilly, frosty

derretido: melted

encapotado/nublado/nubloso: cloudy

escurridizo/resbaladizo: slippery

frío: cold/chilly

fundente: melting

gris: gray, dreary

medio derretido: slushy

mojado: wet

neblinoso: misty, foggy


Let's hear two of these in context. Note that in the first caption, the singular masculine adjective níveo has been modified to the plural feminine form níveas to agree with the plural feminine noun las blancuras. This is due to the fact that there must be gender and number agreement in Spanish between adjectives and the nouns they modify.


Entre las blancuras níveas 

Among the snowy whiteness

Caption 38, Acercándonos a la Literatura José Asunción Silva - "Nocturno III"

 Play Caption


Si el invierno se hace helado me prendo

If the winter gets freezing, I turn myself on

Caption 11, Jorge Celedón, Vicentico Si Me Dejan

 Play Caption


That's all for this lesson, which we hope has helped you to feel more confident to talk in Spanish about many things you might do, wear, feel, or see during the winter season. For more seasonal vocabulary, be sure to check out our lessons on Spanish vocabulary for autumn, expressions for summer, and words for spring! And don't forget to write us with your questions and comments



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