食べる

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 2
kun'yomi

Etymology[edit]

From earlier Old Japanese form 食ぶ (tabu, to (humbly) receive or get, from a superior), a verb with the 下二段 (shimo nidan) or lower bigrade conjugation pattern. This was the humble form of 賜ぶ, 給ぶ (tabu, to (deign to) give, to an inferior), a verb with the full 四段 (yodan) or quadrigrade conjugation pattern.[1][2]

Older bigrade tabu became modern monograde taberu due to a regular shift in lower bigrade verbs, whereby the older 終止形 (shūshikei, terminal form) ending in -u was replaced with the 連体形 (rentaikei, attributive form) ending in -eru.

Most likely cognate with 給う (tamau, to give, as a superior gives a thing to, or does something for, an inferior).

Compare the historical development of meaning from “to humbly receive” → “to eat”, with the modern use of the humble verb 頂く (itadaku, to receive) just before eating, in a sense of “I humbly receive this food.”

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

食べる (transitive, ichidan conjugation, hiragana たべる, romaji taberu)

  1. to eat
    今日 (きょう)は、寿司 (すし) ()べに銀座 (ぎんざ) ()きます。
    Kyō wa, sushi o tabe ni Ginza ni ikimasu.
    I'll go to Ginza today to eat sushi.
     (はし) ()べます。
    Hashi de tabemasu.
    I eat with chopsticks.
  2. (archaic, humble) to eat or drink
    • 16031604, Nippo Jisho (page 594)
      Tabe, uru, eta. タベ, ブル, ベタ (食べ, ぶる, べた) 食う, または, 飲む.

Synonyms[edit]

Conjugation[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9