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Phono-semantic compound (形聲): semantic  + phonetic 

Han character[edit]

(radical 75 +12, 16 strokes, cangjie input 木女戈戈 (DVII), four-corner 42953, composition)

  1. machine
  2. moment, chance


  • (simplified to existing character)


  • KangXi: page 554, character 8
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 15561
  • Dae Jaweon: page 942, character 20
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 2, page 1298, character 4
  • Unihan data for U+6A5F



‎(simplified , Jyutping gei1, Yale gei1)

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(grade 4 “Kyōiku” kanji)



Usage notes[edit]

Often used interchangeably in compounds with ‎(ki) to indicate “machine”, with the distinction that implies a larger machine, such as an airplane, while implies a smaller device, possibly hand-held. Compare 飛行機 ‎(hikōki, airplane) with 食器 ‎(shokki, tableware).

Alternative forms[edit]

機 has many ryakuji (handwritten abbreviations), as it is a common character with many strokes (16):

  • RYAKUJI ki 01.png A phono-semantic simplification from on'yomi of “ki” (katakana キ): 木 + キ (semantic plus simplified phonetic) – compare Ryakuji GI.png for and RYAKUJI ma.png for /.
  • RYAKUJI ki 02.png Graphical simplification.
  • RYAKUJI ki 03.png Graphical simplification.
  • RYAKUJI ki 04.png Graphical simplification.

Etymology 1[edit]

From Sinitic .


‎(hiragana , romaji ki)

  1. a machine, a device; a contraption
  2. a loom
  3. an opportunity, a chance to do something; the right time or moment
  4. something of great importance: the linchpin of the matter
  5. resourcefulness
  6. (Buddhism) the moment of being moved into action by the teachings of the Buddha: see 機根 ‎(kikon)
  7. by extension, the workings of the heart or mind in general
  8. in Noh theater, the breath of the mind
  9. short for 飛行機 ‎(hikōki): an airplane, an aircraft
  10. short for 機関銃 ‎(kikanjū): a machine gun

Etymology 2[edit]

Alteration from こうべうち, itself a compound of ‎(kōbe, head) + 打ち ‎(uchi, striking, hitting).


‎(hiragana こぶち, romaji kobuchi)

  1. a trap or snare that works by beheading the bird or beast caught in it

Etymology 3[edit]

From onomatopoeic はた ‎(hata), possibly for the sound of the shuttle running back and forth, or for the sound of a woven cloth moving in the wind, compare ‎(hata, a flag).


‎(hiragana はた, romaji hata)

  1. a loom
  2. woven cloth

Etymology 4[edit]

Stem form (連用形) of the verb 機る ‎(wakatsuru, to manipulate something), itself an alteration of 誘る ‎(okotsuru, to manipulate or con someone), a compound of ‎(oko, a fool) + 釣る ‎(tsuru, to fish, to draw out).

  1. to manipulate (as in a device)
  2. to manipulate (as in a person): to deceive, to take in someone
  3. to get on someone's right side; to humor someone; to make an effort to please someone



‎(gi) (hangeul , revised gi, McCune-Reischauer ki, Yale ki)

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‎(simplified , Pinyin (ji1), Wade-Giles chi1)

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Middle Chinese[edit]

Han character[edit]



Han character[edit]

(, ki)

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