Simplified from 爲 (爫 → 丶).
In the oracle bone script, it is an ideogrammic compound (會意): 又 (“hand”) + 象 (“elephant”) — a hand holding an elephant. The 又 later became 爪 (“hand; claw”).
Shuowen Jiezi explained the character to be a representation of the female macaque.
The two pronunciations below (“to make; to do; to be”, “for; to; because”) are cognate; the latter is the *–s derivative of the former. Words meaning “to make, to do” often have secondary meanings of “for, as” – compare 作.
Etymology not certain. Starostin compared this word with Tibetan བགྱིད (bgyid, “to make, to manufacture”), བགྱི་བ (bgyi ba, “action, deed”), ཡིན (yin, “is, be”) and Burmese ဝေ (we, “to distribute, to share”). Schuessler (2007) listed *ʔaayh (“to give”) (> Khmer ឲ្យ (“to give, to donate”)) and Khmer ធ្វើ (thveu, “to do, to make”), although the vowels do not match.
The graphic representation using monkey or elephant probably stems a homophonic or near-homophonic etymon which was rarely attested; compare Proto-Sino-Tibetan *b/g-woj-n > Jingpho woi (“monkey”) and possibly 猿 (OC *ɢʷan, “ape”). Outside Sino-Tibetan, compare Proto-Vietic *-vɔːj (“elephant”) > Vietnamese voi (“elephant”).
- to do; to make
- (to turn, to transform) into; to
- to be (equivalent to, equal to)
- 失業率為20%。 / 失业率为20%。 ― Shīyèlǜ wéi 20%. ― Unemployment is running at 20 per cent.
- 它的寬度為7米。 / 它的宽度为7米。 ― Tā de kuāndù wéi 7 mǐ. ― It is 7 metres in width.
- 一公斤為兩磅。 / 一公斤为两磅。 ― Yī gōngjīn wéi liǎng bàng. ― A kilogram is two pounds.
- to take something as
- 其竹節度三尺，柔細可為索，亦以皮為麻。 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
- 其竹节度三尺，柔细可为索，亦以皮为麻。 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
- From: Tang Dynasty, Fan Chuo, Manshu, chapter 7, part 7
- Qí zhújié duó sān chǐ, róuxì kě wéi suǒ, yì yǐ pí wéi má. [Pinyin]
- Each joint measures three chi; thin and supple, it may be used as a rope, and its skin may also be used as linen.
- to act as; to serve as; to behave as
- as (in the capacity of)
- for; to
- because of
- 你為這生氣哦。 / 你为这生气哦。 ― Nǐ wèi zhè shēngqì o. ― So that's what you're upset about?
- for the sake of
- 不為五斗米折腰 / 不为五斗米折腰 ― bù wèi wǔ dǒu mǐ zhéyāo ― don't bow down for the sake of five pecks (or decalitres) of rice
(common “Jōyō” kanji, shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai form 爲)
- This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text
為 (hiragana ため, rōmaji tame)
- sake; reason
The kana writing is preferred over the kanji spelling.
為 (irregular conjugation, hiragana す, rōmaji su)
- to do
- 為政 (isei): governing, administering
- 為政家 (iseika): politician
- 為政者 (iseisha): statesman
- 行為 (kōi): act, deed
- 無為 (mui): inactivity
- 作為 (sakui): artificiality, commission
- 為銀 (tamegin): exchange bank
- 外為 (gaitame): foreign exchange
- 為替 (kawase): money order
- 為る (naru): become
- 為る (suru): do