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Stroke order
ㅁ (mieum) stroke order.png


Etymology 1[edit]

Gari Ledyard proposes that (m) was derived from the lower part of (b). The traditional account* holds that its form is the outline of the mouth, 口形 (it is nearly identical with the Chinese pictographic character for mouth, ), and Ledyard feels this consideration may have determined the final forms of ㅂ and ㅁ.

* Hunmin Jeongeum Haerye "Explanations and Examples of the Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People" (1446), defining and explaining the script now known as 한글 (Hangeul, Great script, Korean script) in South Korea and 조선글 (joseon'geul, Korean script) in North Korea.



  1. 미음 (mieum), a jamo (letter) of the alphabet of the Korean writing system, hangeul; the bilabial nasal (IPA(key): /m/)

Usage notes[edit]

In both North and South Korean order, (m) is the fifth jamo. (ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ 'ㅁ')

Derived terms[edit]

  • (b) (in traditional account)

Etymology 2[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.

Derivational Suffix[edit]


  1. -ness; -tion; -ment
    (m) is directly appended to a verb/adjective stem that ends with a vowel or a consonant (l) to derive a noun.

Inflectional Suffix[edit]


  1. (formal)the act of, the process of, -ing; the status of, being ~, to be ~; that ~
    (m) is directly appended to a verb/adjective stem that ends with a vowel or a consonant (l) to make it a gerund or a noun clause.

Usage notes[edit]

If the verb stem ends with a consonant that are not (l), (m) is appended to the sequential form of it instead:

  • 갚다(갚으니) (gapda(gapeu-ni), “to repay”) + (m): 갚음 (gapeu-m, “repaying”)
  • 쉽다(쉬우니) (swipda(swiu-ni), “to be easy”) + (m): 쉬움 (swiu-m, “being easy”)

A noun derived by appending (m) to a verb or an adjective is different from predicate of a noun clause made by (m) in that the former is recorded in the dictionary, while the latter is not. Plus, in making a noun clause, a suffix (gi) or an adjective clause modifying a noun like (geot, “a thing”) are highly preferred to (m).

E.g. 라면계란 좋아. (Ramen is better to eat, if you add an egg.)

Alternative forms[edit]