Wiktionary lists a couple of different kanji words that are verbs pronounced "みる", some but maybe not all of which are associated with looking at something in one form or another.

What's the difference between them? For example, does it depend on whether the object is flat or three dimensional, or if there's a time component involved?

  • They list 回る【みる】/廻る【みる】. I've never seen that word before―it looks like it's archaic, so you can probably ignore it here and focus on 見る etc.
    – user1478
    Jan 19 '15 at 11:19
  • Sorry for asking a possibly duplicate question. I did try searching beforehand. >_< Jan 20 '15 at 0:24

EDIT : See this answer too :

Difference between 見る and 観る?

EDIT 2 : A very usefull link in the comments of the previous answer.


To be taken with a grain of salt :

見る is the most general, I think it can pretty much replace the others and it's the one you should use if you aren't sure which one is the right one. It means to see, to watch, to look...

Combined with と it also means "to expect that...", "to judge that...", "To consider that..." (from what is observed).


I expect him to do quite a few hours of overtime.

観る means to watch, to contemplate, to gaze at... I think it is mainly used for activities like watching a movie, watching a play... maybe contemplating a landscape (not sure).

診る means to examine (medicaly).


You have to get medical attention.

看る means to look after someone (often medicaly), to take care of someone.

You have to write みる in ひらがな when used as an auxiliary in the ~てみる form.

I don't know about 視る and the last two are different verbs.

And a final observation, this verbs have a lot of meanings so this list is far from being exhaustive. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

  • 1
    weblio says that 視る is very similar to 見る, but with an implication of really focusing on that thing -- you're paying a little more attention to it than 見る might imply. "Staring" might be an appropriate translation in some contexts, "inspecting" in other contexts. (source: weblio.jp/content/%E8%A6%96%E3%82%8B) || A [知恵袋]{ちえぶくろ} post gives the following as synonyms for 視る: [視察]{しさつ} (inspect) and [正視]{せいし} (look [someone] in the eye). (source: detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1418480934) Jan 19 '15 at 14:13

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