So I know 割り切る has the meaning of (to find a clear solution / to come to a clean decision / to give a clear explanation / to divide)

I've been playing a few visual novels and when I bump into this expression I cant seem to connect it with the above meanings

For example


So does it have a separate meaning ?

1 Answer 1


The literal and basic meaning of 割り切る is "to (cleanly) divide", as in 10は2と5で割り切れる (="Ten is evenly divisible by 2 and 5."). Another meaning of this verb is related to this but is rather nuanced. It's something like "to take it as-is without worrying too much", "to make a decision anyway ignoring trivial things", "to (forcibly) convince oneself", etc.

  • お金のためだと割り切って嫌な仕事をする
    to do an unpleasing job convincing oneself that it's just for money
  • 割り切れない気持ち
    complicated feelings, feelings not logically describable
  • 割り切ってしまえばホームレス生活も悪くない。
    Life on the streets is not that bad once you've stopped worrying about it.
  • 過去は過去だと割り切りましょう。
    Don't let your past determine your present.
  • 人生には割り切りも必要だ。
    Sometimes it's necessary to make a practical decision ignoring something.

I think definitions on jisho.org are not really spot-on. I could not find satisfactory definitions/translations even in other dictionaries, so the translations above are largely based on my own understanding.

In your example, 浮気と割り切る probably means "to take it merely as a cheating" or "to have no illusion about cheating", implying the other person is not going to cross a line and break the marital relationship.

  • According to jisho, it can also mean ”to give a clear explanation”. So if I say わからないことを割り切るといい - Give me a clear explanation on the thing I don't understand. Is it also usable in such situations?
    – Newbie
    Jul 13, 2020 at 8:07
  • @Newbie No. Forget jisho about this. わからないことを割り切るといい means "You should stop worrying about something you don't understand (because it's not important anyway)". 割り切った説明 is an explanation that is not strictly correct but practically usable.
    – naruto
    Jul 13, 2020 at 8:47
  • 説明してくれて有難う御座います
    – Newbie
    Jul 13, 2020 at 15:06
  • Just realised this but if 割り切る means don't worry about it, how is it different from 気にしない? For example: 分からないことを気にしなければいい and 分からないことを割りきればいい
    – Newbie
    Jul 14, 2020 at 11:56
  • 1
    @Newbie On second thought, "to give a clear explanation" is a possible translation in a negative sentence. See 割り切れない気持ち above; it's "the feeling on which I can not give a clear explanation". 割り切る sounds like forcibly convincing oneself, whereas 気にしない is just "I don't care".
    – naruto
    Jul 14, 2020 at 11:56

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