Etymology 1Edit

Derivation unknown. First attested in 1477, around the Muromachi Period.[1]

Historical kana orthography shows that this was originally まう (mau),[1] and Portuguese sources from the late 1500s and early 1600s record this as ⟨mǒ⟩, indicating a pronunciation of /mɔː/ as part of the regular sound shift from /au/ to /oː/.[2]

The initial ma is speculatively connected to (ima, ma, now).[1][3]



もう (

  1. already (having reached a certain situation or finished a certain action)
    Synonyms: 既に (sude ni), 最早 (mohaya)
    Kare wa koko ni kite iru.
    He is already here.
    kodomo de wa nai.
    [You are] not a child any more.
    • Fist of the North Star
      Omae wa shinde iru.
      You are already dead.
  2. already the time to do so; shortly, soon
    Ku-ji desu kara shitsurei shimasu.
    It's nine o'clock so I must leave shortly.
    Synonyms: 直に (jiki ni), 間も無く (ma mo naku), やがて (yagate)
  3. more, further
    Synonyms: 更に (sara ni), (ima)
    ippai kudasai.
    Give me one more glass.
  4. (chiefly in the negative) any more, again
    Synonym: 二度と (nido to wa)
    Watashi wa arukenai.
    I can't walk any more.
    shimasen kara yurushite kudasai.
    Please forgive me, I won't do it again.
  5. Used to strengthen one's judgment or emotions; compare English already
    Synonym: 正に (masa ni)
    Kore wa utagau yochi no nai jijitsu da.
    This is already an undeniable fact!
Usage notesEdit

A common mistake among Japanese language learners is to use もう as a general term meaning more; the correct term in many cases is もっと (motto).

See alsoEdit


もう (

  1. (colloquial) Used to express frustration against the addressee; jeez; compare use of English already
    , nani yatte n da yo.
    Jeez, what're you up to? → Whaddya doing, already?
    Iya ni natchau nā, .
    I'm getting so fed up, already!
Alternative formsEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 もう”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), 2nd edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000, →ISBN
  2. ^ 1603, 日葡辞書: パリ本 / Vocabulario da Lingoa de Iapam (Nippo Jisho: Paris edition / Vocabulary of the Language of Japan) (in Japanese and Portuguese), 1976 reprint, Tōkyō: Bensei Publishing. See the Mǒfaya entry available online here, left-hand column, corresponding to modern もう早 (mōhaya, already, so soon, adverb). This persists in Hokkaido dialect, per the 北海道方言辞書 (Hokkaidō Hōgen Jisho, Hokkaido Dialect Dictionary), entry available online here via Weblio (in Japanese).
  3. ^ ”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[2] (in Japanese), 2nd edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000, →ISBN
  4. 4.0 4.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  5. 5.0 5.1 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  6. 6.0 6.1 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN

Etymology 2Edit

For pronunciation and definitions of もう – see the following entries.
[noun] ferociousness
[prefix] wild, ferocious, frenzied
[noun] blindness
[noun] blind person
[suffix] network
[noun] one thousandth
[noun] one thousandth of a (sun) (approximately 0.0303 mm)
[noun] one thousandth of a (monme) (exactly 3.75 mg)
[noun] one thousandth of a (wari) (0.01 percent)
[pronoun] humble first-person personal pronoun; I, me
(This term, もう, is an alternative spelling of the above terms.
For a list of all kanji read as もう, not just those used in Japanese terms, see Category:Japanese kanji read as もう.)

(The following entries are uncreated: , , , , , , , , , , .)