What is the difference between 馴染む and 慣れる? Dictionaries say that both represent "to grow accustomed to". In what case 馴染む cannot be replaced by 慣れる or 慣れる cannot be replaced by 馴染む?


A dictionary states that 慣れる has three meanings. The first meaning is "get used to". I think it means "the thing becomes an usual thing for someone". The second is "familiarize with", "master". The third is "something like a tool is comfortable and easy to use for someone because he has used it for long".

A dictionary states that 馴染む has two meanings. The first meaning is "get used to" and it implies "familiar with the thing". The second is "fit in", "match up".

For example, the difference between 都会の生活に慣れる and 都会の生活に馴染む is whether someone is familiar with it or not according to a dictionary.

I think 慣れた万年筆 and 馴染んだ万年筆 have almost the same meaning.

慣れる doesn't have the meaning of "match up" as the second meaning of 馴染む, so you can say この絵は、この部屋に馴染んでいる but you can't say この絵は、この部屋に慣れている。

馴染む doesn't have the second meaning of 慣れる, so you can say 旅慣れる but you can't say 旅馴染む.

  • 1
    Familiarity for the thing does not work for me as a native speaker of English. Familiarity with something could work,` but I'm not sure if that's what it means.
    – virmaior
    Jan 13 '17 at 11:44

Very simple.

  • 馴染む - getting used to something, and making friends with something. To familiarize with (something).
  • 慣れる - accepting something as a normal thing. In English, "To get used to (something)".

For example:

  • 都会に慣れる/馴染む
    • To get used to the city, to familiarize with the city








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