Questions tagged [definitions]

定義. The precise meanings of Japanese words or phrases.

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広範 ambiguous meaning

During my dictionary search of the word "資本主義" I found this definition: 商品経済の広範な発達を前提に,労働者を雇い入れた資本家による利潤の追求を原動力として動く経済体制。 The thing is that I do understand the whole meaning, however I'm ...
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もう for "already" and もう for "another"

After studying the difference between もう and まだ (which seems clear to me now), I realize that there seems to be two different words spelled もう, which apparently have different pitch accents; high to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
566 views

Conflicting meanings for "犬も歩けば" expression?

The expression 犬も歩けば棒に当たる (Inu mo arukeba bou ni ataru [lit. "even a dog will run into a stick if goes walking"]) is given two definitions on jisho.org, both of which seem to be at odds. ...
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Saying 'Are you Satisfied?' in Japanese: 満足ですか or 満ち足りですか

I'm not quite sure what the difference between (1) 満足ですか and (2) 満ち足りですか - Do they both mean "Are you satisfied?" I'm trying to say "Satisfied" in the sense of being satisfied with ...
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Is 「として」 seen as 「と+して 」?

として is translated in dictionaries as meaning something like "as" or "in the role of". I'm curious if Japanese speakers see this word as one word, or is it seen as having some ...
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1 answer
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What does どばっと mean in this question?

I came across this question on Japanese Quora. I will also post the text of the question in case the link doesn't work: 「飛行機で、tomato juice without ice, pleaseとお願いしました。CAさんが、no ice?と聞かれました。Yes! と答えました。...
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2 answers
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What exactly does "従兄妹" or "従兄妹同士" mean, does it translate to "cousin" or "cousins"?

I saw it used in a short story online but was confused on what it meant since I wasn't sure and don't know enough. When I used translation software, it just translated the part as "cousins". ...
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1 answer
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Different ways to express the idea of something being "concrete" (see provided English example) in adjective form using Japanese?

In English, the noun "concrete" can be used as an adjective to describe other nouns. This usage implies something like "physical", "tangible", "legitimate", or ...
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126 views

How to identify what って means in different situations

って can be used at least 3 different ways that I know of. Standard って form that most people learn first.て,って,んで,いて,いで etc. って for quoting people. って for making a demand/command statement. A tutorial I'...
3 votes
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What does いました mean when used by itself? From Mario RPG (includes picture)

Mario and Mallow are talking to a little mushroom guy and first, he says "Mario! Mario!". Then he follows up with the text box shown here. いました、いました! あやしい やつが! たった今 ここをとおっていきました! The ...
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How to interpret こんな中身のない詩を書いてる

I was listening to 思想犯 他人{ひと}に優しいあんたにこの孤独がわかるものか  死にたくないが生きられない だから詩{うた}を書いている  罵倒も失望も嫌悪も僕への興味だと思うから  他人{ひと}を傷付ける詩{うた}を書いてる  こんな中身のない詩{うた}を書いてる In this part, I’m wondering if I should parse the ...
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What is the meaning of 及ぼし合う in 人間や生物の周囲にあって,意識や行動の面でそれらと何らかの相互作用を及ぼし合うもの?

I was reading the definition of 環境: 取り囲んでいる周りの世界。人間や生物の周囲にあって,意識や行動の面でそれらと何らかの相互作用を及ぼし合うもの。 I understand the first sentence it as: "world that is a surrounding-area" or like "the ...
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What is Mallow saying to Mario in Super Mario RPG (includes picture)

Mallow is speaking in this picture. He just finished crying. In the middle section he says しに. What does the しに mean here? I think it's し+に particle but I'm not sure what it means here. し has many ...
2 votes
1 answer
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What does "のこと" mean in the following sentence?

I am in the process of reading through the Japanese Wikipedia article titled "事件". The beginning of the article lists two definitions for "事件". The sentence that I am confused over ...
3 votes
2 answers
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What does 明ける mean?

What does 明ける mean? I get different definitions some say it's dawn others say it's end.
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1 answer
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大辞泉 dictionary notation -- ① ㋐ ㋑ ㋒ ㋓ ㋔ [closed]

In 大辞泉 what is the meaning of the symbols ㋐㋑㋒㋓㋔? For example they all appear in this definition: あぶら【油・脂・×膏】 ①水に溶けず、水よりも軽い可燃性物質の総称。動物性・植物性・鉱物性があり、食用・灯火用・燃料用・化学工業の原料など用途が広い。㋐動物の肉についている脂肪分。脂身(あぶらみ)。「―...
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Fun with synonyms - "dry up/wither/wilt/shrivel"

Please help me understand the differences in the following words meaning "dry up・out", "wither", "wilt", "shrivel": [枯]{か}れる [涸]{か}れる [萎]{しお}れる [萎]{しぼ}む [萎]{しな}...
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Trying to understand a sentence from Mario RPG "いままでになかったパターンですね"

In Super Mario RPG Kinopio is watching Mario explain what happened at Koopa castle. Mario then implies the castle bridge has fallen down and Kinopio responds with this: I think he is saying: "...
2 votes
1 answer
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Fun with synonyms - "hand over/give/transfer"

Please help me understand the differences in the following words meaning "give up・over", "hand over", "transfer": 渡す [寄越]{よ・こ}す [譲]{ゆず}る Here are some examples from my ...
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1 answer
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What does 「フトアゴヒゲ」mean in 「フトアゴヒゲトカゲ」("Central Bearded Dragon​" lizard)?

I'm guessing ヒゲ means hair, which makes sense since the lizard has "bearded" in its name. Not sure about the rest of the フトアゴ.
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Difference between 表立つ and 表沙汰する?

From what I understand, they both have the meaning of going public or becoming public knowledge. Is there a more nuanced difference between the two?
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What is キノピオ saying in Super Mario RPG? (includes picture)

I'm watching a Mario RPG translation video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRBRLmhFy-4 What I think I understand so far is: ながい おつきあいなだけに、= "Given that I've known you a long time," ...
14 votes
1 answer
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What is Bowser saying in Super Mario RPG? よって! (includes picture)

I'm watching a YouTube video that helps learn Japanese through Mario RPG found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRBRLmhFy-4 I think Bowser is saying something like "I hate how you always ...
3 votes
1 answer
417 views

"To be satisfied/content/fulfilled": Differences between 満ち足りる、心ゆく、気が済む、満足がいく?

In English, I think "to be satisfied/content" can have a couple different meanings: To feel that what was given/has happened is satisfactorily enough in the short term sense (e.g. had ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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When is 事業 read as じぎょう and when as ことわざ

I came across the following sentence from the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar series: X氏は、一方で慈善事業をやりながら、他方でかなりあくどい商売をしているという噂だ。 I think 慈善事業 should be read as じぜんじぎょう. But as I look up the dictionary ...
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What is the difference between 決意 and 決心? [duplicate]

I have pondered this for a while but it seems that 決意 and 決心 can be used interchangeably as “determination” or “make up your mind” . I have checked on some Japanese articles as well, and there is some ...
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Meaning of 当てをつける

I found the following sentence in the novel I'm reading 「これが旅に出る最後の好機だと思っている。これまでももちろん旅に出ようと思えば資金に当てをつけることはできた。だが、踏ん切りがつかなかった。」 What does 「当てをつける」mean here? Does it mean the speaker found a place to ...
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1 vote
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What does 人よ幸あれ mean? [duplicate]

I'm wondering what 人よさちあれ means in this line: 我がためにガラス戸張りし人よさちあれ I think さちあれ is 幸あれ, which I've seen translated as "good luck" or "bless you," etc. But how does it work here ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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comparison of 受身形 and 受動態 both meaning "passive voice"?

(.) Both Japanese and English can construct sentences such that the main verb is either active or passive. There are two words for "passive voice" in Japanese 受身形 and 受動態. I know that 受身形 ...
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Using に対して to express "for," "for the purpose of," or "for verbing"

日本語で一番難しいのは、一つのことに対してたくさんの言い方があることです。 Everything I can find on に対して says it means towards, against, regarding, in contrast to, etc. In the above example sentence, it seems to mean something like &...
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Meaning of "少し外す"

Can "少し外す" mean "zoned out/lost focus" I can send the source material I read it in, if that helps. Edit: For those asking for context, here its the bit in the manga:
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what does 'が入らず' mean?

全身に力が入らず- what does '力が入らず' mean? I know 力 means strength, but what does 'が入らず' mean? I've done some googling and it either means without strength or filled with strength. That's why I'm very clueless ...
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1 answer
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窶 use in compound words

Does 窶 form compounds? Jisho and another dictionary I checked has no compounds listed, and I know they are Japanese and not Chinese. I think it germinates a series of potentially offensive political ...
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Fun with synonyms - "shine/sparkle/glitter/glimmer/glisten/gleam/twinkle/flash"

Been thinking about these for a while. I see that we already have Difference between 光る, 輝く, and 光り輝く?, but I'm including a lot more. What are the differences in meaning (ignoring conjugations) of ...
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What does まんが in this passage mean?

まんが日本昔話みたいな婆ちゃんの声に、説得力があった。 Is it manga as in 漫画? If so why is it not 日本昔話まんが but まんが日本昔話?
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1 answer
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What does さばき切れます mean?

I ran across the sentence, さばき切れます, and I can't figure out what it means. Can anyone please explain? Thanks in advance
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ガードがばがばになっから meaning

I'm having trouble making sense of this sentence. From what I've looked up, I think it's probably either "meme" talk, a dialect joke, or some combination of the two. Here's the full sentence: ...
2 votes
1 answer
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What does [私ったら] mean?

Is it conditional like the same as saying 「なら」?
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1 answer
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How do you use "iuno/いうの"? [duplicate]

I've seen this word a couple of times and am currently stuck on how to use it.. I know "いう" means "say" but I don't understand the の particle attached to it. Could someone provide a couple of ...
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Meaning of 見る in 「1日から2日は見て」

In this JLPT N1 listening practice transcript, a manager at a company is talking to his employee: じゃ、お客様には、私の方からお詫びの電話を入れておくから。番号はこのメモの通りでいいんだよね。君は今すぐ管理部に連絡して、同じ商品の在庫があるか聞いてみて。...
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1 answer
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The meaning of 管を巻く

I stumbled upon this 管を巻く, and looking up, it says that in English, it meant 'to grumble over one's wine cups.' But I still did not understand what it means. Can someone help to explain?
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What does カピカ mean?

I can't find this word in a dictionary. It appears on a bag of rice I bought. The sentence is: カピカ仕上げで、丁寧に磨いたきれいなお米です。 Is it a contraction of カピカピ, describing how the rice is dried out?
3 votes
2 answers
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Does 日本茶 ''mean'' green tea?

I was having a discussion with a Japanese friend and she said that the word 日本茶 ''means'' green tea. I have put the word ''means'' in brackets for emphasis. I replied that surely 日本茶 means Japanese ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Should I include my step-siblings as 兄弟?

If I'm asked, "兄弟がいますか。" and my only siblings are a younger step brother and younger step sister, should/can I respond "はい、いもうととおとうとがいます。"? Do I need to specify but still answer in the affirmative? Or ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Expressing action of taking off

Like saying I'm going to take off my hat as in 帽子{ぼうし}を抜{ぬ}きます. I believe 抜{ぬ} "nu" means to get ride of or dispose of, but I guess I'm certain context it could mean to take off or remove. I'm ...
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1 answer
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Difference between ~によって and ~を通じて (through, by means of)

It seems that both ~によって and ~を通じて (sometimes ~を通して) can be used to mean "through", "by means of", "via". Both seem moderately but not very formal. Are there any differences in nuance that dictate ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What does 見受ける mean?

I have found several related words that I think I have a better grasp of such as: 見掛ける・見て取る・認める 見掛ける is just simply visually seeing something 見て取る is close to 見て分かる, right? Seeing something that ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What are the nuanced usages of まず?

The following lines of dialogue is spoken by a girl to the narrative character in a book I'm translating. 「普通の人なら、あの状況{じょうきょう}ではまず間違いなくパニックになるわ。 自分の置かれた状況を把握{はあく}しようとして、混乱しているうちに殺されていたはずよ。 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is there some functional difference between デマ and ガセ?

According to gogen-allguide.com デマ comes from the German demagogie, so it would make sense for it to be similar to demagogy in English. But demagogy is used for political things like false claims and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Meaning of はいてなかったり?

I recently came across the phrase はいてなかったり which has me stumped. For context, a character utters the phrase after dismissing the possibility of something: Character: Oh, those guys? Yeah, they're ...

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