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Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
命-bw.png

Etymology[edit]

Ideogrammic compound (會意):  +  (order)

Han character[edit]

(radical 30 +5, 8 strokes, cangjie input 人一口中 (OMRL), four-corner 80627, composition)

  1. life
  2. destiny, fate, luck
  3. an order, instruction

Cantonese[edit]

Hanzi[edit]

(Jyutping meng6, ming6, Yale meng6, ming6)


Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 3 “Kyōiku” kanji)

Readings[edit]

Compounds[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Japanese. Probably a compound of Old Japanese elements (i, breath, i in compounds, iki on its own) +‎ (no, possessive particle) +‎ (chi, spirit, force, soul).

Some analyses describe this as a compound using (i, life, i in compounds, iki on its own) as the initial semantic element. This is equally valid, as (iki) and 生き (iki) are cognates.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

(hiragana いのち, romaji inochi)

  1. life
  2. lifespan
  3. lifetime
  4. fate, destiny
  5. (figuratively) the most important part or aspect of a thing
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Japanese. Compound of (mi-, honorific prefix) +‎ (koto, word). The mi prefix is generally limited to extremely high-status contexts such as gods or emperors.

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

(hiragana みこと, romaji mikoto)

  1. the words or pronouncements of a god or an emperor

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Japanese. Originally a compound of (mi-, honorific prefix) +‎ (koto, abstract thing, as opposed to , mono, “concrete thing”).

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

(hiragana みこと, romaji mikoto)

  1. the honorable, the exalted
    Used as a title after the referenced noun when referring to gods, emperors, or other high-status persons.
    • 711-712: Kojiki (Kami tsu maki)
      夜知富許能 迦微能美許登
      八千矛の神の
      やちほこのかみのみこと
      Yachihoko no kami no mikoto wa
      the honorable god Yachihoko
    • c. 759: Man'yōshū (book Book 20, No. 4408, poem #{{{2}}})
      波々蘇婆能 波々能美許等波
      柞葉の母の
      ははそばのははのみこと
      hahasoba no haha no mikoto wa
      the exalted mother of the oak leaf
  2. the beloved, dearly beloved
    Similarly used as a title after the referenced noun.
    • 711-712: Kojiki (Kami tsu maki)
      和加久佐能 都麻能美許登
      若草の妻の
      わかくさのつまのみこと
      Wakakusa no tsuma no mikoto
      dearly beloved young wife

Pronoun[edit]

(hiragana みこと, romaji mikoto)

  1. you
  2. that person
Usage notes[edit]

Used ironically from the late Heian period, expressing a sense of mild derision or ridicule.

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle Chinese (/mjængH/, “command”). Compare modern Mandarin (mìng, life, destiny, instruction).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

(hiragana めい, romaji mei)

  1. fate, destiny
  2. life, lifespan
  3. order, command
Synonyms[edit]

Korean[edit]

Hanja[edit]

(myeong) (hangeul [[]], revised myeong, McCune-Reischauer myŏng)


Mandarin[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Hanzi[edit]

(Pinyin mìng (ming4), (zu3), Wade-Giles ming4, tsu3)

Compounds[edit]

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 183, character 18
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 3473
  • Dae Jaweon: page 402, character 15
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 604, character 11
  • Unihan data for U+547D

Vietnamese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(mệnh, mạng, mình, mạnh, mịnh)