真面目

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Chinese

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real; true; genuine face; look; appearance
trad. (真面目/眞面目) / 面目
simp. (真面目) 面目

Pronunciation

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Noun

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真面目

  1. (idiomatic, often derogatory) true features; true identity; true colors

Derived terms

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Japanese

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Etymology 1

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Kanji in this term
Grade: 3
(ateji)
Grade: 3
Grade: 1
jukujikun kun'yomi
Alternative spelling
眞面目 (kyūjitai)

Appears to be root maji, which is cognate with まじまじ (majimaji, staringly), 瞬ぐ (majirogu, to wink) + (me, eye; visually prominent feature), from the sense of eyes blinking nervously when having a straight face.[1][2][3] First attested in the Nise Monogatari, around 1639-1640.[4]

The kanji spelling is an example of jukujikun (熟字訓) mixed with ateji (当て字), from (ma-) (real) + (face) + (me) (eyes). Compare English true colors.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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真面目(まじめ) (majime-na (adnominal 真面目(まじめ) (majime na), adverbial 真面目(まじめ) (majime ni))

  1. serious, earnest
    真面目(まじめ)やれ
    Majime ni yare!
    Do it seriously!
  2. honest
Inflection
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Noun

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真面目(まじめ) (majime

  1. seriousness
  2. honesty
Antonyms
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Derived terms
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Etymology 2

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Kanji in this term
しん
Grade: 3
めん
Grade: 3
もく
Grade: 1
on'yomi
Alternative spelling
眞面目 (kyūjitai)

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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(しん)(めん)(もく) (shinmenmoku-na (adnominal (しん)(めん)(もく) (shinmenmoku na), adverbial (しん)(めん)(もく) (shinmenmoku ni))

  1. actual
  2. sincere
Inflection
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Noun

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(しん)(めん)(もく) (shinmenmoku

  1. actual value
  2. sincerity

Etymology 3

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Kanji in this term
しん
Grade: 3
めん
Grade: 3
ぼく
Grade: 1
on'yomi
Alternative spelling
眞面目 (kyūjitai)

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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(しん)(めん)(ぼく) (shinmenboku-na (adnominal (しん)(めん)(ぼく) (shinmenboku na), adverbial (しん)(めん)(ぼく) (shinmenboku ni))

  1. actual
  2. sincere
Inflection
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Noun

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(しん)(めん)(ぼく) (shinmenboku

  1. actual value
  2. sincerity

References

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  1. ^ Shōgaku Tosho (1988) 国語大辞典(新装版) [Unabridged Dictionary of Japanese (Revised Edition)] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  2. ^ 真面目”, in デジタル大辞泉 [Digital Daijisen]‎[1] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, updated roughly every four months
  3. ^ 真面目/まじめ - Gogen Yurai Jiten (in Japanese)
  4. ^ 真面目”, in 日本国語大辞典 [Nihon Kokugo Daijiten]‎[2] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2000
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN