|Kanji in this term|
Derived as the verb form of adjective 露 (arawa, “naked, bare; open, revealed”), as a compound of 露 (arawa) + す (su, causativizing suffix; root of modern する (suru, “to do; to make something do”)), with an original meaning of “to make something open and public, to make something apparent”.
- to show, to make apparent
- to express, to put into words
- to signify, to represent, to symbolize, to stand for
This verb can be spelled many different ways. The spellings with the kana わ might be preferred for avoiding ambiguous readings. In general, which kanji to use depends on which sense one wishes to emphasize:
- 表 has connotations of front and surface, and is most often used to spell arawasu when referring to expressing something in words or symbols.
- 現 has connotations of real and realize, and is most often used to spell arawasu when referring to making something that was previously hidden now visible.
- 顕 has connotations of apparent and manifest, and is most often used to spell arawasu when referring to making something widely known or publicizing.
- 著わす, 著す (あらわす, arawasu): of the same original meaning of to make something public, but now limited to meaning to publish
This is an archaic form. The modern form is 表する (ひょうする, hyōsuru).