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- KangXi: page 242, character 38
- Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 5638
- Dae Jaweon: page 482, character 38
- Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 416, character 1
- Unihan data for U+58EB
|simp. and trad.
|Historical forms of the character 士|
|Western Zhou||Warring States||Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han)||Liushutong (compiled in Ming)|
|Bronze inscriptions||Chu Slip and silk script||Qin slip script||Small seal script||Transcribed ancient scripts|
Pictogram (象形) – axe-like tool; soldier.
- "bachelor, man, male"
- Reminiscent of Austroasiatic synonyms like Old Khmer si (“male”) or MK words for "man, male" like *ʔŋsiil, *ensir, *kəsəy on the Malay Peninsula; Schuessler (2007) noted that foreign *-r sometimes left traces in OC initial complex. These relations, if, valid, would keep 士1 "bachelor, man, male" distinct from 士2 "servant, retainer, officer, scholar".
- "take or give an office, serve", "servant", "retainer", "officer", "scholar"
- Schuessler (2007) noted that one could naturally assume the semantic development "male > man > servant > to serve" in order to posit that 士1 "bachelor, man, male" is the same word as 士2 "servant, retainer, officer, scholar". Yet, the exopassive derivation 事 () "assignment, affair, thing" and Tibeto-Burman counterparts demonstrated no association with "man, maleness"; & "male" hardly derives from "to serve". *ʔsrɯs, *zrɯs
- Therefore, Schuessler derived these forms from 理 () "envoy, jail official, matchmaker" & proposed ultimate *rɯʔAustroasiatic origins. In terms of phonology, MC *dʐ- normally does not occur with *l- and *ʂ in an ST word-family, apparently confirming a non-ST provenance; however, MC *dʐ- here could go back to OC *s-r- (unlike MC *ʂ-, which is from OC *sr)
- Subsequenly, Schuessler posited either relation to Austroasiatic or OC loan into Tibeto-Burman as Proto-Tibeto-Burman *ʔ-dzəj (“send on an errant”) (Matisoff, 2003), whence Burmese စာ (ca, “thing”) & Tibetan རྫས (rdzas, “thing, matter, object”) (Gong, 1999). Even so, Tibeto-Burman cognates of this etymon and 所 (suǒ) are difficult to distinguish.
- † unmarried male; bachelor
- † (honorific) man
- † general; high-ranking military officer
- † soldier; noncommissioned officer
- 士兵 ― shìbīng ― soldier
- (historical) scholar-official (civil servant appointed by the emperor of China to perform day-to-day governance)
- (historical) self-appellation used by scholar-officials in ancient China, when addressing the emperor: I; subject
- (historical) a social stratum in ancient China
- 無恆產而有恆心者，惟士為能。若民，則無恆產，因無恆心。 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
- From: Mencius, circa 4th century BCE, translated based on James Legge's version
- Wú héngchǎn ér yǒu héngxīn zhě, wéi shì wéi néng. Ruò mín, zé wú héngchǎn, yīn wú héngxīn. [Pinyin]
- They are only men of education (i.e., the shi), who, without a certain livelihood, are able to maintain a fixed heart. As to the people (i.e. lower commoners), if they have not a certain livelihood, it follows that they will not have a fixed heart.
无恒产而有恒心者，惟士为能。若民，则无恒产，因无恒心。 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
- 民之愚，不學而已；士之愚，則學非所學而益愚。 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
- From: 1903. Zou Rong, The Revolutionary Army
- Mín zhī yú, bù xué éryǐ; shì zhī yú, zé xué fēi suǒ xué ér yì yú. [Pinyin]
- The uneducated commoners are ignorant simply because they do not study. The shi studies what is not worth studying, thus he becomes even more stupid.
民之愚，不学而已；士之愚，则学非所学而益愚。 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
- scholar; academic; intellectual; intelligentsia
- 博士 ― bóshì ― doctor; doctoral degree
- 院士 ― yuànshì ― academician
- † (honorific) suffix for a virtuous, knowledgeable or skilled person: commendable person
- (xiangqi) adviser; guard; minister (usually only on the black side, in some sets on both red and black sides)
- † Alternative form of 仕 (shì, “to be an official”).
- A surname.
- 士 is commonly used to render the /s/ sound (not followed by a vowel) in foreign names, e.g. 威士忌 (wēishìjì, “whiskey”), 巴士 (bāshì, “bus”), which is from Cantonese usage.
Derived terms from 士
|For pronunciation and definitions of 士 – see 土 (“earth; soil; clay; etc.”).|
(This character, 士, is a variant form of 土.)
- “士”, in 漢語多功能字庫 (Multi-function Chinese Character Database), 香港中文大學 (the Chinese University of Hong Kong), 2014–
- Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants (教育部異體字字典), A00831
- Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants (教育部異體字字典), A00740-002
|Kanji in this term|
- person with a certain qualification.
- a lawyer
- an accountant
- (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [sʰa̠(ː)]
- Phonetic hangeul: [사(ː)]
- Long vowel distinction only applies at the initial position. Most speakers no longer distinguish vowel length at any position.
- 국제퇴계학회 대구경북지부 (國際退溪學會 大邱慶北支部) (2007). Digital Hanja Dictionary, 전자사전／電子字典. 
- This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text