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Kanji in this term
Grade: 4


Derived from verb 割る (waru, to split, to break, to crack), as imperfect form wara- + auxiliary verb (fu, indicating repetition or ongoing state: modern verb ending u): "to be in the act of cracking up / breaking open".[1]


Alternative formsEdit

  • (to bloom; to ripen): (less common) 咲う
  • (to make fun of): (less common) 嗤う


笑う (intransitive, godan conjugation, hiragana わらう, rōmaji warau, historical hiragana わらふ)

  1. to spontaneously express joy or amusement by means of the voice or facial expression:
    1. to laugh
    2. to smile
      マイクがよく (わら)いますよね。
      Maiku ga yoku waraimasu yo ne.
      Mike laughs / smiles a lot, doesn't he.
  2. to split open (as a plant bud), to bloom
     (さくら) (はな) (わら)
    sakura no hana ga warau
    the cherry flowers bloom
  3. to split open from ripening (as fruit or vegetables)
     (くり) (わら)っている時期 (じき)
    kuri ga waratte iru jiki
    the season when the chestnuts ripen and split open
  4. (figuratively) to bud, become green and verdant, and bloom in spring (as the landscape)
     (やま) () (しき) (わら)
    yama no keshiki ga warau
    the mountain landscape comes alive / quickens / blooms
  5. to come undone (as a stitch or seam)
     () () (わら)っている
    nuime ga waratte iru
    the seam is coming open
  6. (slang) to become weak and wobbly (as in the knees)
     (ひざ) (わら)
    hiza ga warau
    go wobbly in the knees

笑う (transitive, godan conjugation, hiragana わらう, rōmaji warau, historical hiragana わらふ)

  1. to laugh at, to make fun of, to make a fool of
    ジュディは (わたし) (わら)った
    Judi wa watashi o waratta.
    Judy laughed at me / made fun of me / made a fool of me.




Derived termsEdit


  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  3. 3.0 3.1 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13143-0
  4. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, ISBN 978-4-14-011112-3
  5. ^ Yoshinori Kobayashi, Kojisho Ongi Shūsei 1: Shin'yaku Kegonkyō Ongi Shiki (in Japanese), Kyūko Shoin (published 1978; original text from 794), ISBN 4-7629-3088-1.