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Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai ME.svg
U+3081, め
HIRAGANA LETTER ME

[U+3080]
Hiragana
[U+3082]

Japanese[edit]

Stroke order
2 strokes

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style.

Syllable[edit]

(romaji me)

  1. The hiragana syllable (me). Its equivalent in katakana is (me). It is the thirty-fourth syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (ma-gyō e-dan, row ma, section e).
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Alternative spellings

⟨me2 → */məɨ//me/

From Old Japanese.[1] Cognate with ま#目 (ma, bound form), possibly through fusion of (ma, bound form) +‎ (i, emphatic nominal particle). Now the modern Japanese term for eye.

Probably cognate with 見る (miru, to see, to look).[1]

May also be cognate with (me, bud, shoot),[1] perhaps from the “visually prominent feature” sense.

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (non-productive, bound form)
    • (prefixal) (ma)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

(me (historical kana )

  1. [from 712] , : eye
    ()かゆいです。
    Me ga kayui desu.
    My eyes feel itchy.
    (ねむ)そうな()する(ねむ)そうな()こする
    nemusō na me o suru, nemusō na me o kosuru
    to have a sleepy look on one's face (eyes that look sleepy), to rub sleepy eyes
  2. [from 759] : visually prominent feature of something:
    1. [from 759] : Short for 賽の目 (sai no me, dice pip).
      • 2015 January 10, “(あく)()のサイコロ [Demon’s Die]”, in 決闘者の栄光 -記憶の断片- side:武藤遊戯 [Duelist Road -Piece of Memory- side: Mutō Yūgi], Konami:
        ①:サイコロを(いっ)(かい)()る。(あい)()フィールドのモンスターの(こう)(げき)()(ょく・しゅ)()(りょく)は、ターン(しゅう)(りょう)()まで()()(かず)×100(ひゃく)ダウンする。
        Ichi: Saikoro o ikkai furu. Jibun fīrudo no monsutā no kōgekiryoku shubiryoku wa, tān shūryōji made deta me no kazu kakeru hyaku daun suru.
        1: Roll a die once. Until the end of this turn, the attack and defense strength of the monsters on your opponent’s field decreases by the result × 100.
      • 2015 September 19, “サイコロン [Dicyclone]”, in STRUCTURE DECK R -真帝王降臨- [STRUCTURE DECK R -Advent of the True Sovereign-], Konami:
        ①:サイコロを(いっ)(かい)()り、()()(こう)()(てき)(よう)する。
        Ichi: Saikoro o ikkai furi, deta me no kōka o tekiyō suru.
        1: Roll a die once, then apply an effect accordingly to the result.
    2. [from late 900s] : experience
      Synonym: 体験
      (いた)()()
      itai me ni au
      to go through something terrible
      (ひど)()()
      hidoi me ni au
      to meet a terrible fate
      大変(たいへん)()()
      taihen na me ni au
      experience something serious
Derived terms[edit]

Suffix[edit]

(-me (historical kana )

  1. [from early 1400s] : -st, -nd, -rd, or -th, for ordinal numbers (e.g. 8th or eighth, 9th or ninth)
    三本(さんぼん)()のボトル
    sanbon-me no botoru
    third bottle
  2. [from late 1800s] : visually prominent feature of something
    (むす)()()()()()
    musubime, amime, kikime
    knot (literally, “tying + [visual feature]”), stitch (literally, “knitting + [visual feature]”), effect or efficacy (literally, “working, having an effect + [visual feature]”)

Etymology 3[edit]

Alternative spelling
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From Old Japanese. First attested in the Kojiki of 712 C.E..[1]

Possibly cognate with 目・眼 (me),[1] perhaps from the “visually prominent feature” sense of that term.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

(me (historical kana )

  1. [from 712] : bud, sprout, shoot
  2. [from 1922] : the germ of an idea, an inkling
  3. [date unknown] : (biology) a bird embryo: more specifically, as found on the yolk of an egg, the blastodisk, the germinal disk, the embryonic disk
    Synonym: 胚盤 (haiban)

Etymology 4[edit]

Alternative spelling (uncommon)

First cited to The Tale of the Heike from the early 1300s.[1]

Might be a shift in usage of (me, visually prominent feature). The spelling does not appear to be common, and this is not included in all dictionaries.[1][4]

Pronunciation[edit]

(pitch accent depends on the entire suffixed word)

Suffix[edit]

(-me

  1. [from early 1300s] : derogatory suffix attached to people's names or words that refer to people, animals, etc.
    ばか()
    Baka-me!
    Idiot!

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 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
  3. 3.0 3.1 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN