I found the following sentence in the novel I'm reading


What does 「当てをつける」mean here? Does it mean the speaker found a place to spend or make money? 当て seems to have definitions of both 頼り and 目当て, so I'm pretty confused about what the speaker is trying to say. From context, the speaker seems to be in need of money, but I'm still unsure what is being meant here.

2 Answers 2


I also asked this question on Lang-8 and these are the (translated and paraphrased) answers I received. 当て here means the second and third definitions here. It is somewhat similar to 見込み or 見通し. One of the comments specifically wrote the following:

見込み ≒ prospect, likelihood, possibility
Therefore, the meaning would be "He was possibly able to get the trip cost."

So, it was possible for him to obtain the funds(資金), but he did not take the chance. Another commenter said the following:

当てをつけるの 「を」がない、「あてつけ」になると、違う意味になるので注意です。

当てつける is a different word, which means to "insinuate" and has a negative nuance.

  • I think only the second definition in the entry you linked is applicable in this case. The third definition from デジタル大辞泉: 心の中で期待している物事。頼り。 and the third definition from 明鏡: 心頼みとすること。 are for expressing that you believe in/trust in/rely on something, taking one of the forms 当てにする or 当てになる, e.g. 親を当てにする. I haven't yet seen 当てをつける ever being used in this sense.
    – Setris
    Mar 6, 2021 at 0:42

I believe they are just saying that they could have allocated the funds to go on a trip if they wanted but they couldn't come to a decision.

The third meaning from here: https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/word/%E5%BD%93%E3%81%A6%E4%BB%98%E3%81%91%E3%82%8B/

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