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Han character[edit]

(radical 74 +4, 8 strokes, cangjie input 月一一山 (BMMU), four-corner 71211, composition)


  • KangXi: page 504, character 28
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 14339
  • Dae Jaweon: page 883, character 8
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 3, page 2046, character 15
  • Unihan data for U+670A


simp. and trad.
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Newly coined character. Phono-semantic compound (形聲): semantic  ‎(body) + phonetic  ‎(OC *ŋon, original).

Modelled after the etymology of English "protein": from Ancient Greek πρῶτος ‎(prôtos, first) ― cf. (yuán, “original, first”), which also acted as the phonetic component of the character.

The choice of this character for the sense of "prion" is primarily due to the nature of prions as proteins, but might also have been influenced by the pronunciation of the word prion.



  1. (biochemistry, obsolete) protein
    Synonyms: 蛋白質蛋白质 (dànbáizhì)
  2. (biochemistry) prion
    Synonyms: 朊病毒, 朊毒體朊毒体