笑う

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
わら
Grade: 4
kun'yomi
See also 笑い

Etymology[edit]

Derived from verb 割る (waru, to split, to break, to crack), as imperfect form wara- + auxiliary verb (fu, indicating repetition or ongoing state: modern verb ending u): "to be in the act of cracking up / breaking open".

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

笑う (intransitive, godan conjugation, hiragana わらう, romaji warau, historical hiragana わらふ)

  1. to spontaneously express joy or amusement by means of the voice or facial expression:
    1. to laugh
    2. to smile
      マイクがよく (わら)いますよね。
      maiku ga yoku waraimasu yo ne.
      Mike laughs / smiles a lot, doesn't he.
  2. to split open (as a plant bud), to bloom
     (さくら) (はな) (わら)
    sakura no hana ga warau
    the cherry flowers bloom
  3. to split open from ripening (as fruit or vegetables)
     (くり) (わら)っている時期 (じき)
    kuri ga waratte iru jiki
    the season when the chestnuts ripen and split open
  4. (metaphor) to bud, become green and verdant, and bloom in spring (as the landscape)
     (やま)景色 (けしき) (わら)
    yama no keshiki ga warau
    the mountain landscape comes alive / quickens / blooms
  5. to come undone (as a stitch or seam)
     () () (わら)っている
    nuime ga waratte iru
    the seam is coming open
  6. (slang) to become weak and wobbly (as in the knees)
     (ひざ) (わら)
    hiza ga warau
    go wobbly in the knees

笑う (transitive, godan conjugation, hiragana わらう, romaji warau, historical hiragana わらふ)

  1. to laugh at, to make fun of, to make a fool of
    ジュディは (わたし) (わら)った
    judi wa watashi o waratta.
    Judy laughed at me / made fun of me / made a fool of me.

Usage notes[edit]

Of the three spellings, 笑う, 咲う, and 嗤う, the 笑う spelling is the most common. The bloom and ripen open senses may also be spelled 咲う (see synonym using the same kanji, 咲く (saku, to bloom)). The make fun of sense may also be spelled 嗤う (see synonym using the same kanji, 嗤笑 (shishō, to laugh at, to ridicule, to jeer at)).

Conjugation[edit]

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Derived terms[edit]