見事

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Japanese[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 1
こと > ごと
Grade: 3
kun’yomi
Alternative spelling
美事

Compound of (mi, seeing, the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative or stem form) of verb 見る (miru, to see, to look at)) +‎ (koto, fact, event, abstract thing).[1][2][3]

First cited to a text from 1309.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

()(ごと) (migoto-na (adnominal ()(ごと) (migoto na), adverbial ()(ごと) (migoto ni))

  1. [from 1477] (by extension from the spectacle sense) spectacular, splendid, magnificent, wonderful
    見事(みごと)
    O-migoto.
    Splendid.
  2. [from 1563] skillful, excellent, ingenious, clever
    Synonyms: 巧み (takumi), 上手 (jōzu), 巧妙 (kōmyō)
  3. [from 1798] total, complete
    Synonym: すっかり (sukkari, adverb)
Inflection[edit]

Adverb[edit]

()(ごと) (migoto

  1. [from 1563] excellently, skillfully, spectacularly
Usage notes[edit]

Usage as a bare adverb without any particles appears to be less common than use with the adverbial particle (ni).

Noun[edit]

()(ごと) (migoto

  1. [from 1309] something that should be looked at, something worthy of looking at, a spectacle, a sight, a magnificent deed
    Synonym: 見物 (mimono)

Etymology 2[edit]

Kanji in this term
み > みん
Grade: 1
こと > ごと
Grade: 3
Irregular kun’yomi

Shift from migoto, emphasizing the nasality of the voiced /ɡ/.

  • /miɡoto//miŋoto//miɴɡoto/

Appears in a text from 1706.[4]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

(みん)(ごと) (mingoto

  1. [from 1706] cleverly, excellently, skillfully, spectacularly
  2. [from 1706] completely
Usage notes[edit]

Not used with any particles.

Etymology 3[edit]

Kanji in this term
けん
Grade: 1

Grade: 3
goon

Considering the date of first appearance and the apparent lack of any Chinese term 見事, this is probably a shift in reading from the native-derived kun'yomi of migoto to the Chinese-derived on'yomi of kenji, possibly to impart a higher register. Compare usage patterns in English for Germanic-derived terms (often considered lower-register) and their Latinate synonyms (often considered higher-register).

First cited to a text from the 1370s.[4]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

(けん)() (kenji-na (adnominal (けん)() (kenji na), adverbial (けん)() (kenji ni))

  1. [1370s–???] (archaic, possibly obsolete) (by extension from the spectacle sense) spectacular, splendid, magnificent, wonderful
Inflection[edit]

Noun[edit]

(けん)() (kenji

  1. [1370s–???] (archaic, possibly obsolete) something that should be looked at, something worthy of looking at, a spectacle, a sight, a magnificent deed
    Synonym: 見物 (mimono)

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 見事・美事”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), 2nd edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000, →ISBN
  2. ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  4. 4.0 4.1 見事”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[2] (in Japanese), 2nd edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000, →ISBN