What's the difference between these words?

  • 切り刻む is something Jack the Ripper liked to do. We don't hear it very often in daily life. – nodakai Jul 3 '16 at 9:55

I think the most basic differences might be something like this:

  • 切る - to cut / cut off
  • 刻む - to carve into / to slice

Here are two examples for each word. The first one is literal usage, the second on is figurative usage.

  • 文字を石に刻む - to carve letters into a rock
  • 心に刻まれた - (it) was carved into (my) heart


  • 紙を切る - to cut paper
  • 縁{えん}を切った - (he) cut off (our) relationship

刻む also has the common meaning of "cut thinly" or "slice" as in:

  • ねぎを刻む - to slice chives

You can combine the two words like this:

  • ねぎを切り刻む - to slice up chives very thinly

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