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Disclaimer: I’m a beginning student. On a number of occasions I have noticed that kanji listed at Jisho.org may have an 音読み or 訓読み for which Jisho lists no associated word. For example, 号 is listed as having the 訓読み ⎡さけぶ⎦, but Jisho does not list any word pronounced that way and using the kanji 号. Why?

The question isn’t only curiosity; vocabulary with a kanji’s different readings make it easier to remember the readings. And please understand that my question uses 号 as one example; I'm hoping for a broader explanation.

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When something like this happens, you're probably encountering a rare reading that's not worth learning at all. For what it's worth, as a native Japanese speaker, I wasn't aware that 号 could be read that way (I only knew 叫ぶ as the kanji for さけぶ "to scream").

Kanji readings, especially kun-readings, were not very standardized in the past, and you may come across many obsolete kun-readings while reading older materials. According to this kanji quiz, 号ぶ was used at least in works of Natsume Soseki (1867-1916). It's a dictionary's job to include such rare words and readings, but it often fails to tell you which are common and which are not. Even a large dictionary does not cover all rare readings, anyway. If you're still a beginner, you should not pay too much attention to kanji and readings outside the jōyō kanji list.

See also: Why do dictionaries differ so much in terms of spelling and is there an established standard for how a word should be written in contemporary text?

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  • Your explanation is very clear; things look much more hopeful now!
    – NattoYum
    Mar 24, 2023 at 2:59
  • Given that there's the word 号哭 I would not be surprised to see 号{さけ}ぶ
    – dvx2718
    Mar 24, 2023 at 15:30
  • @dvx278 Just to be sure, I'm not saying that I didn't know the kanji 号 was related to screaming. Although 号哭 is a rare word (I didn't know it), 怒号, 号泣 and 号令 are common words.
    – naruto
    Mar 25, 2023 at 3:45

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