定 (Define) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji

Author GokuGoku for article '定 (Define) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji'

GokuGoku

3 min reading time

JLPT N38 strokes
definedetermineestablishdecide

Kun readings 🇯🇵

さだ.めるさだ.まるさだ.か

On readings 🇨🇳

ていじょう
定 (Define) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji

The kanji 定 means define, determine, establish, decide.

The kanji 定 is used in many words to define a decision, role, outcome, hypothesis, or plan.

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


Origin of the kanji 定

The kanji 定 originates from and is composed of the following kanji:

  • 止: kanji which means to stop

  • 龰: radical which also derives from the kanji 止

  • 宀: radical of the roof

  • 一: kanji of number 1

What does kanji mean 定

The kanji 定 is related to the concept of decision and planning.

The kanji is in fact present in many words that indicate an action plan, a decision taken, or an assigned role.

Among the most common words are:

  • ()(てい): plan, program

  • ()(てい): negation

  • (こう)(てい): affirmation, affirmative

  • (そう)(てい): hypothesis

Kanji readings 定

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

Kun readings of the kanji 定 🇯🇵

さだ

The only Kun reading of the kanji 定 is さだ. This reading is used when the kanji indicates the concept of deciding and decision. Some terms that use the さだ reading are:

  • (さだ)める: decide

  • (さだ)か: definite, sure

The term (さだ)める for the verb to decide is not very common. There are more used terms such as ()める

On readings of the kanji 定 🇨🇳

てい

てい is the most common pronunciation for the kanji 定. As we have seen, this pronunciation is used in words that contain the kanji 定 such as:

  • (けっ)(てい): decision, determination

  • (はん)(てい): verdict, judgment

  • ()(てい): revision, assessment

じょう

じょう is another, less common reading of the kanji 定. It is used in words like:

  • (いち)(じょう): fixed, constant

  • (かん)(じょう): computation, count

Examples of the kanji 定

そのように(さだ)められている。

It was decided this way.

まるで(さい)(しょ)からそう(さだ)められていたみたいだった。

It seemed like it was completely decided this way from the start.

(まえ)(わたし)()うことを()(てい)するのか?

Are you denying what I said?

(こう)(てい)しても()(てい)しても(ころ)される。

Whether I approve or deny I will be killed .

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