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See also: , せ゚, , and

U+305C, ぜ
Composition: [U+305B] + ◌゙ [U+3099]



Stroke order
5 strokes



Etymology 1


The hiragana character (se) with a dakuten ().




  1. The hiragana syllable (ze). Its equivalent in katakana is (ze).
See also

Etymology 2


/zo e//zoe//zeː//ze/

Shift via monophthongization of older ぞえ (zoe), in turn from sentence-ending emphatic particle (zo) and exclamatory or familiar particle (e).[1][2][3]

First dated to 1771.[1] Usage became established in the Edo area, then spread to the Kansai region in the late 1700s.[1]

With the softening effect of particle (e), the sense was originally somewhat less gruff than using just (zo). However, in modern usage, this is now generally considered more gruff than (zo), and usage is restricted to informal masculine speech, either between members of the same group and status, or by a social superior to an inferior.[1][2]




  1. [from 1771] (colloquial, men's speech) sentence-ending particle signifying emphasis, used to lightly press one's point, with familiar overtones
    Komatta yatsu da ze.
    What a troublesome guy.
  2. [from 1771] (colloquial, men's speech) sentence-ending particle signifying emphasis, used to tell the listener about something in a patronising way
    Sonna ni kēki o tabetara futotchimau ze.
    You'll get fat if you keep eating cake.
Usage notes
  • Similar to (zo), is mostly used by males. However, unlike , is strictly informal register, and can be considered highly impolite if used outside of a casual setting.
  • When used with polite-register forms like です (desu) and the ます (masu) verb ending, this may imply sarcasm, contempt, or threat.[1][2]
Alternative forms
  • (Kansai, Tohoku) (de)
  • (Internet slang) (zu)
  • じぇ (je)

Etymology 3


Reading of various kanji.

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
[noun] right, justice
[suffix] (rare) an honorific suffix added to a noun denoting a person
(This term, (ze), is the hiragana spelling of the above terms.)
For a list of all kanji read as , see Category:Japanese kanji read as ぜ.)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Shōgaku Tosho (1988) 国語大辞典(新装版) [Unabridged Dictionary of Japanese (Revised Edition)] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ Matsumura, Akira (1995) 大辞泉 [Daijisen] (in Japanese), First edition, Tokyo: Shogakukan, →ISBN