I am trying, without luck, to figure out the etymology of the word 轢{ひ}く. Note that I'm not talking about the kanji here, but the usage of ひく to carry this specific meaning.

My dictionary, スーパー大辞林, simply says 〔「引く」と同源〕. That's all well and good, but how does ひく come to carry the meaning of running somthing over? Maybe it's because vehicles used to be drawn (by horses and such)? I haven't been able to find anything usable on google.

Perhaps etymology is not the most accurate term here, since I'm not looking for an etymology of ひく as such, but rather the connection between the general meaning of 引く and the specific usage in 轢く.

Thanks in advance :)

  • 1
    I would guess it was originally used with the same image as 挽く (to grind). The answer that was not chosen as the best here says the same thing, although it cites no reference.
    – aguijonazo
    May 31, 2021 at 0:47

1 Answer 1


As far as I can tell, aguijonazo is probably right in their comment, in that 轢く is derived from 挽く. The question is then of course, what's the origin of 挽く?

For that, I think the explanation here on 漢字ペディア is satisfactory (though I can't say if the site is trustworthy in general):


Note how the traditional ひき臼 are actually drawn by a handle, which should naturally lead to the meaning of grinding.

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