See also: り゚
Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai RI.svg
U+308A, り



Stroke order


Etymology 1Edit

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style.


(romaji ri)

  1. The hiragana syllable (ri). Its equivalent in katakana is (ri). It is the fortieth syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (ra-gyō i-dan, row ra, section i).
See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Originally the classical copula verb あり (ari, it is) following a verb in the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative or stem form).[1]

The -i ending of the preceding verb stem contracted with the initial a- in ari to form -eri, which was reanalyzed as the 已然形 (izenkei, realis form, corresponding to the modern hypothetical form) or 命令形 (meireikei, imperative form) of the verb stem for 四段活用 (yodan katsuyō, quadrigrade conjugation) verbs, or the 未然形 (mizenkei, irrealis or incomplete form) for サ変動詞 (sa-hen dōshi, sa-irregular verbs), all of which ended in -e, with the final -ri then viewed as a suffix.[1][2]

Research into 上代特殊仮名遣い (jōdai tokushu kanazukai, ancient special spellings) clarified the -e vowel value as ⟨e1, showing that the original form could not have been the 已然形 (izenkei, realis form) that ended in ⟨e2. Ancient ⟨e1 was also known to appear from fusion of -i and a-, and this revealed the much simpler original structure of a verb in the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative or stem form) for either quadrigrade or sa-irregular verbs + あり (ari).[1]

Originally denoted ongoing state or action, or the resulting state of an action. The sense later shifted to indicate the completion of an action.[1][2]



  1. (Classical Japanese) Used to form the stative of verbs.
    • 1952, 凡例 (usage guide) of the 修訂大日本国語辞典
      hatsuon no “n” wa saishū ni okeri
      the moraic nasal “has been placed at the end
      konkai no shinsōban ni wa kore o shōryaku seri
      they have been omitted in this newly bound edition
Usage notesEdit

This word is classified as 助動詞 (jodōshi, auxiliary verb) in traditional Japanese grammar. It is morphologically an inflectional suffix whose proper shape is -er- (terminal form -eri, -e1r- in Old Japanese) attaching to the stem of some consonant-stem verb classes.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit

Probably ultimately deriving from the classical copula verb あり (ari, it is), used adverbially to denote the state or manner of an action.

Used to form adverbs from some onomatopoeias or ideophones. Appears to have been productive up through the Early Middle Japanese of the late Heian period, possibly also in the early stages of the Late Middle Japanese of the Kamakura period. In the modern language, this suffix persists in existing words, but it is not used to form any new words.



  1. (non-productive) adverb-forming suffix following some onomatopoeias or ideophones
    きら (kira)きらり (kirari)
    べた (beta)べたり (betari)べったり (bettari)
    ほの (hono)ほんのり (honnori)
Usage notesEdit

Etymology 4Edit

Shortening of りょ (ryo), from shortening of (りょう)(かい) (ryōkai).



  1. (text messaging slang) short for 了解 (ryōkai, understand)

Etymology 5Edit

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
[noun] a unit of distance:
[noun] under the 律令 (Ritsuryō) system, defined as equal to 300 (bu) or 1500 (shaku)
[noun] from the early modern until the end of the Edo period, defined as equal to 36 (chō), approximately between 3.6 to 4.2 kilometers
[noun] from the mid-Meiji period, defined as equal to 129,60033 meters, approximately 3.927 kilometers or 2.44 miles
[noun] (historical) under the 律令 (Ritsuryō) system, a unit of area for regional administration, equal to 50 (ko, houses)
[affix] village
[noun] reason, logic
[noun] profit, benefit, advantage
[verb] to benefit
(This term, , is an alternative spelling of the above Sino-Japanese terms.
For a list of all kanji read as , not just those used in Japanese terms, see Category:Japanese kanji read as り.)

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN