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Stroke order

Etymology 1Edit

Gari Ledyard proposes that (m) was derived from the lower part of (b). The traditional account* holds that its form is the outline of the mouth, 口形 (it is nearly identical with the Chinese pictographic character for mouth, ), and Ledyard feels this consideration may have determined the final forms of ㅂ and ㅁ.

* Hunmin Jeongeum Haerye “Explanations and Examples of the Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People” (1446), defining and explaining the script now known as 한글 (han-geul, Great script, Korean script) in South Korea and 조선글 (joseon-geul, Korean script) in North Korea.



  1. 미음 (mieum, “mieum”), a jamo (letter) of the alphabet of the Korean writing system, hangeul; the bilabial nasal (/m/)

Usage notesEdit

In the North Korean order, (m) is the fifth jamo. In the South Korean order, it is the seventh.

Derived termsEdit

  • (b) (in traditional account)

Etymology 2Edit

First attested in the Hunmin jeongeum eonhae (訓民正音諺解本 / 훈민정음언해본), 1447, as Middle Korean (m).


—ㅁ (-m)

  1. -ness; -tion; -ment
    (suffix deriving a noun)
    나누다 (nanuda, to divide) + ‎ (m) → ‎나눔 (nanum, division, charity)
    기쁘다 (gippeuda, happy) + ‎ (m) → ‎기쁨 (gippeum, happiness)


—ㅁ (-m)

  1. (formal) the act of, the process of, -ing; the status of, being ~, to be ~; that ~
    (suffix making a gerund or a noun clause)
    우리가 만남결코 우연이 아니다.
    Uriga mannameun gyeolko uyeoni anida.
    That we've met is never an accident.
    그는 이 그를 축복확신한다.
    Geuneun sini geureul chukbokhasimeul hwaksinhanda.
    He is convinced that the God blesses him.
    너희 모두이토록 예쁨은 너희 마음깨끗하 때문란다.
    Neohui moduga itorok yeppeumeun neohui ma-eumi kkaekkeuthagi ttaemuniranda.
    It is because your minds are so clean that all of you are this beautiful!

Usage notesEdit

The suffix (m) is appended to the sequential form. If the stem ends in the consonant (l), the (l) does not drop out.

  • 갚다 (갚으니) (gapda (gapeuni), “to repay”) + (m): 갚음 (gapeum, “repaying”)
  • 쉽다 (쉬우니) (swipda (swiuni), “to be easy”) + (m): 쉬움 (swium, “being easy”)
  • 살다 (사니/면) (salda (sani/salmyeon), “to live”) + (m): (sam, “life”)
    살다 (salda) + (m) + (ui, “'s”): (salmui, “of life”)

The suffix (gi), or an adjective clause modifying a noun are much preferred to (m).

라면계란 좋아.
Ramyeoneun gyeraneul puneun ge deo meokgi joa.
Ramen is better for eating, if you add an egg.