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Etymology 1Edit

Shift from earlier 見たよう (mita yō, literally as if [I] had seen). Appears from the middle of the Meiji period.[1][2]



みたい (-na inflection, rōmaji mitai)

  1. (auxiliary) appended after the noun to mean -like, resembling
    木村 (きむら)拓哉 (たくや)みたい (ひと) ()た。
    Kimura takuya mitai na hito o mita.
    [I] saw someone resembling Takuya Kimura.
     (わたし) ()鹿 ()みたいですね。
    Watashi wa baka mitai desu ne.
    I seem like a fool.
     (きみ)はまるで天使 (てんし)みたい (わら)う。
    Kimi wa maru de tenshi mitai ni warau.
    You smile just like an angel.
Usage notesEdit


Etymology 2Edit

The desiderative inflection of the verb 見る (miru, to see).



みたい (rōmaji mitai)

  1. 見る: want to see something
  2. (auxiliary) (appended after the conjunctive or -te form of a verb) want to try to do something
     ()ぬまで (きみ) ()きてみたい
    shinu made kimi to ikite mitai yo
    Until death I want to try to live with you
     (あや)しい (とびら) ()けてみたくないよ
    ayashī tobira o akete mitakunai yo
    I don't want to try to open the weird door!
Usage notesEdit
  • Although this is a form of the verb 見る (miru, to see), when used as an auxiliary, it is almost always written entirely in hiragana.
  • This auxiliary usage implies that the action has never been attempted by the subject.
  • As with all -tai desideratives, this inflects as a 形容詞 (keiyōshi, i adjective).


  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN