Simplified from 爲.
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 *ʔaajh (“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)
― Shīyèlǜ wéi 20%.
― Unemployment is running
at 20 per cent.
― Tā de kuāndù wéi 7 mǐ.
― It is
7 metres in width.
― Yī gōngjīn wéi liǎng bàng.
― A kilogram is
- to take something as
- to act as; to serve as; to behave 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.
- as (in the capacity of)
- for; to
- because of
― Nǐ wèi zhè shēngqì o.
― So that's what you're upset about?
- for the sake of
― 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
- kimi no tame ni
- for you; because of you; for your sake
- “piano no tame ni”
- "for the piano" (i.e. in European classical music)
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