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U+C138, 세
Composition: +

Hangul Syllables

서 ←→ 셔



Cognate with Korean (sae).


IPA(key): /se/



  1. (seamen's) east, east wind



  1. new


Etymology 1[edit]

First attested in the Yongbi eocheon'ga (龍飛御天歌 / 용비어천가), 1447, as Middle Korean 세〯 (Yale: sěy).

Beyond Middle Korean, the reconstruction of the ancestral Koreanic root for "three" is difficult. See a list of relevant attestations and forms in Appendix:Historical Koreanic numerals#Three.


  • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [sʰe̞(ː)]
  • Phonetic hangul: [(ː)]
    • Though still prescribed in Standard Korean, most speakers in both Koreas no longer distinguish vowel length.
Revised Romanization?se
Revised Romanization (translit.)?se
Yale Romanization?sēy
Korean numbers (edit)
 ←  2 3 4  → [a], [b], [c]
    Native isol.: (set)
    Native attr.: (se), (dated) (seok), (archaic) (seo)
    Sino-Korean: (sam)
    Ordinal: 셋째 (setjjae)



  1. (native numeral) three (before a noun or classifier)
    haksaeng se myeong
    three students
    비둘기 마리
    bidulgi se mari
    three pigeons
Usage notes[edit]

In modern Korean, numbers are usually written in Arabic numerals.

The Korean language has two sets of numerals: a native set of numerals inherited from Old Korean, and a Sino-Korean set which was borrowed from Middle Chinese in the first millennium C.E.

Native classifiers take native numerals.

Some Sino-Korean classifiers take native numerals, others take Sino-Korean numerals, while yet others take both.

Recently loaned classifiers generally take Sino-Korean numerals.

For many terms, a native numeral has a quantifying sense, whereas a Sino-Korean numeral has a sense of labeling.

  • 반(班) (se ban, three school classes, native numeral)
  • 반(班) (sam ban, Class Number Three, Sino-Korean numeral)

When used in isolation, native numerals refer to objects of that number and are used in counting and quantifying, whereas Sino-Korean numerals refer to the numbers in a more mathematical sense.

  • 하나 주세 (hana-man deo juse-yo, Could you give me just one more, please, native numeral)
  • 더하기 ? (il deohagi ir-eun?, What's one plus one?, Sino-Korean numeral)

While older stages of Korean had native numerals up to the thousands, native numerals currently exist only up to ninety-nine, and Sino-Korean is used for all higher numbers. There is also a tendency—particularly among younger speakers—to uniformly use Sino-Korean numerals for the higher tens as well, so that native numerals such as 일흔 (ilheun, “seventy”) or 아흔 (aheun, “ninety”) are becoming less common.

Etymology 2[edit]

Related to (hyeo).


Revised Romanization?se
Revised Romanization (translit.)?se
Yale Romanization?sey



  1. (Gangwon, Gyeongsang, Gyeonggi, Jeolla dialect, Chungcheong, Hamgyong, Yukjin, Hwanghae) Dialectal form of (hyeo, tongue)
    • 1982 January 8, 이상설 [isangseol], “오리정승의 국량 [orijeongseung'ui gungnyang]”, in 한국구비문학대계 [han'gukgubimunhakdaegye]‎[1], 경기도 용인군 내사면 (현 용인시 처인구 양지면) [gyeonggido yong'in'gun naesamyeon (hyeon yong'insi cheoin'gu yangjimyeon)]:
      그래니까 오리정승 (이원익) 말씀 차더라 이거.
      Geurae-nikka orijeongseung (I Won-ik) malsseum-i se-reul se beon chadeora igeo-ya.
      So Prime Minister Ori (Yi Won-ik) clicked his tongue three times.

Etymology 3[edit]

Korean reading of various Chinese characters.



Extended content
  1. : world; lineage
    (eumhun reading: 인간 (in'gan se))
    (MC reading: (MC syejH))
  2. : wash
    (eumhun reading: 씻을 (ssiseul se))
    (MC reading: (MC sejX))
  3. : tax
    (eumhun reading: 세금 (segeum se))
    (MC reading: (MC sywejH))
  4. : thin
    (eumhun reading: 가늘 (ganeul se))
    (MC reading: (MC sejH))
  5. : force
    (eumhun reading: 형세 (hyeongse se))
    (MC reading: (MC syejH))
  6. : age (counter); year (about age)
    (eumhun reading: (hae se))
    (MC reading: (MC sjwejH))
  7. : rent; loan
    (eumhun reading: 세낼 (senael se))
    (MC reading: (MC syejH))
  8. : Sasa borealis
    (eumhun reading: 조릿대 (joritdae se))
    (MC reading: )
  9. : to persuade
    (eumhun reading: 달랠 (dallael se))
    (MC reading: (MC sywejH))
  10. :
    (MC reading: (MC dzyejH))
  11. :
    (MC reading: (MC sejX))
  12. :
    (MC reading: (MC sywejH))
  13. 𡜧:
    (MC reading: 𡜧)
  14. :
    (MC reading: (MC dzyejH))
  15. :
    (MC reading: (MC zwijH|zjwejH))
  16. :
    (MC reading: (MC tshjwejH|sywejH))
  17. :
    (MC reading: (MC sjwejH))
  18. :
    (MC reading: (MC sywejH))
  19. :
    (MC reading: )
  20. :
    (MC reading: )
  21. : Alternative form of
    (MC reading: (MC zjwejH))
  22. :
    (MC reading: (MC zwijH))
  23. :
    (MC reading: (MC sywejH))
  24. :
    (MC reading: (MC yejH))
  25. :
    (MC reading: )
  26. :
    (MC reading: (MC zjwejH))
  27. :
    (MC reading: (MC zjwejH))
  28. :
    (MC reading: (MC sjet))
  29. :
    (MC reading: )