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U+3081, め



Stroke order
2 strokes


Etymology 1[edit]

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



  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] from Proto-Japonic *may. Cognate with () (ma, bound form). 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, and with suppositional / volitional verb suffix (mu) (presenting in modern Japanese verb conjugations as the or -yō endings), perhaps from the “seem like, look like” sense.


Alternative forms[edit]

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



(me (me)?

  1. [from 712] , : eye
    Me ga kayui desu.
    My eyes feel itchy.
    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 720] : visually prominent feature of something:
    1. [from 720] : small hole, like those inherent to a net-like material (between the warp and the weft)
      Hyponym: おりめ (orime)
      hosome arame
      small hole; large hole
    2. [from 759] : short for 賽の目 (sai no me, dice pip).
      • 2015 January 10, “(あく)()のサイコロ”, 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:
        (いち):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)力・守(りょく・しゅ)()(りょく)は、ターン(しゅう)(りょう)()まで()()(かず)×(かける)100( ひゃく)ダウンする。
        Ichi: Saikoro o ikkai furu. Aite 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:
        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.
    3. [from late 900s] : (by extension) experience
      Synonym: 体験
      itai me ni au
      to go through something terrible
      hidoi me ni au
      to meet a terrible fate
      taihen na me ni au
      experience something serious
Derived terms[edit]


(-me (me)?

  1. [from early 1400s] : -st, -nd, -rd, or -th, for ordinal numbers (e.g. 8th or eighth, 9th or ninth)
    sanbon-me no botoru
    third bottle
  2. [from late 1800s] : visually prominent feature of something
    musubime, amime, kikime
    knot (literally, “tying + [visual feature]”), stitch (literally, “knitting + [visual feature]”), effect or efficacy (literally, “working, having an effect + [visual feature]”)
  3. : (attached to verb or i-adjective roots to produce na-adjectives, not productive with verbs) to a more exaggerated degree
    多い (ooi) + ‎ (-me) → ‎多め (oome)
    控える (hikaeru) + ‎ (-me) → ‎控えめ (hikaeme)

Etymology 3[edit]

Alternative spelling
Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
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From Old Japanese. First attested in the Kojiki of 712 CE.[1]

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



(me (me)?

  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

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]


(pitch accent depends on the entire suffixed word)



  1. [from early 1300s] : derogatory suffix attached to people's names or words that refer to people, animals, etc.


  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