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Example:

「できるのか?」【大男】

大男が眼を細めてくる

The definition for the first expression as given from weblio is

目の開き方を小さくする。

うれしそうにほほえみをうかべる

Is the reason that this line uses 眼 instead of 目 to make it so that the reader understands that it would mean the first definition or does this mean the second definition?

Thanks.

1 Answer 1

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The expression 「[目]{め}を[細]{ほそ}める」 (with 目, not [眼]{め}) already has two meanings to begin with.

Literal: "to squint"

Figurative: "to smile in delight (at the sight of something/someone one is fond of)"

Which one it means should be clear from the context as the two meanings are quite different from each other.

However, some people would choose to use 「眼」 for their own aesthetic reasons. The language is very tolerant toward these personal aesthetic choices, especially in creative writing.

When 「眼」 is used in the expression in question, it would mostly (but still not always) be used for the literal meaning of "to squint", but if it were unclear, one would always have the context to decide on the meaning.

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