急 (Suddenly) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji

Author GokuGoku for article '急 (Suddenly) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji'

GokuGoku

2 min reading time

JLPT N49 strokes
suddenlyurgentsteepunexpectedfastemergencyhaste

Kun readings 🇯🇵

いそ.ぐいそ.ぎせ.く

On readings 🇨🇳

きゅう
急 (Suddenly) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji

The kanji 急 means suddenly, unexpected, urgent, emergency, haste. 急 is used alone or in combination with other kanji to indicate urgency, haste, something that happens quickly or unexpectedly.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of 急, its origin, and how it is used through real example sentences.


Origin of the kanji 急

The kanji 急 contains the kanji 心, which means heart or spirit. In the upper part the kanji also contains the two radicals 𠂊 (hook) and ヨ.

What does kanji mean 急

The kanji 急 alone means urgent, in a hurry. Any other kanji in combination with 急 takes on the meaning of quick, haste, urgent.

Among the most common terms are:

  • The adverb (きゅう)に, which means suddenly
  • The verb (いそ)ぐ, which means to hurry

Kanji readings 急

Let's now see the various On and Kun readings that the kanji 急 assumes.

Kun readings of the kanji 急 🇯🇵

いそ

The reading いそ is used for the verb (いそ)ぐ, to hurry, and all its variations and combinations with other kanji.

そうと(きま)まれば(いそ)がなければならない。

If you made up your mind you must hurry.

A less common Kun reading is せ, used for the verb ()く, which also means to hurry.

On readings of the kanji 急 🇨🇳

きゅう

きゅう is the most common reading for the kanji 急. This reading is used in combination with other kanji to form various fairly common terms, such as:

  • (きん)(きゅう): urgency, emergency
  • (きゅう)(そく): rapid (progress)
  • (きゅう)に: suddenly

Examples of the kanji 急

(きゅう)(なに)するんだ!

What are you doing suddenly!

なんで(きゅう)()るんだよ

Why sleeping so suddenly.

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