先生

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Chinese[edit]

 
early; prior; former; in advance; first
 
to be born; to give birth; life; to grow; student; raw
simp. and trad.
(先生)

Etymology[edit]

From (xiān, Old Chinese *sɯːn(s), "before, ahead") and (shēng, OC *shleːŋ, *sreŋs, "to be born"), i.e. "one who was born earlier". Attested in Shijing ("first child"), Yili ("elder brother"), Classic of Rites ("teacher"), Mengzi ("a knowledgeable elder").

Pronunciation[edit]


Noun[edit]

先生

  1. (Beginning Mandarin) mister, sir
    先生 [MSC, trad.]
    先生 [MSC, simp.]
    Wáng xiānshēng lái le. [Pinyin]
    Mr. Wang came.
  2. (formal) husband
  3. (dated) Doctor; Dr
  4. (regional) doctor
  5. (dated) teacher
    • 1924: Hu Shih, Life of Mr. Close Enough
      他在學堂的時候,先生問他:「直隸省的西邊是哪一省?」他說是陝西先生說:「錯了,是山西,不是陝西。」他說:「陝西同山西,不是差不多嗎?」
      When he went to school, the teacher asked him: "Which province is west of Zhili Province?" He answered Shaanxi. The teacher said: "Wrong, it is Shanxi, not Shaanxi." He said: "Would Shaanxi and Shanxi not be close enough?"

Related terms[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
せん
Grade: 1
せい
Grade: 1
on'yomi

Etymology[edit]

From Sinitic 先生.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

先生 (hiragana せんせい, romaji sensei)

  1. one who was born earlier; an elder
  2. one who excels at a subject; a scholar
  3. one who teaches; a teacher or professor
  4. sensei (Japanese martial arts teacher)
  5. sir, a polite form of address to teachers, doctors, etc.

Usage notes[edit]

This is a term of respect, reserved only for speaking about others, and considered somewhat impolite (immodest) to use when referring to oneself. Instead, the term 教師 (kyōshi, "teacher") is considered more socially appropriate when referring to oneself.

Derived terms[edit]

Suffix[edit]

先生 (hiragana せんせい, romaji -sensei)

  1. a title used after the name of teachers, doctors, lawyers, or certain other professionals

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakukan, ISBN 4095102535.

Korean[edit]

Hanja in this word

Noun[edit]

先生 (seonsaeng) (hangeul 선생)

  1. Hanja form? of 선생, “teacher”.