grade 5 “Kyōiku” kanji
Etymology 1 Edit
on the bush.
Middle Chinese 綿 ( miɛn, “ wool; cotton; soft, downy ” ).
綿 ( hiragana , めん rōmaji )
men cotton ( both the fiber and the cloth )
Usage notes Edit
As a standalone noun, the term
木綿 ( momen, “ cotton ”, literally “ tree or bush + woolly batting ” ) is used more often. This is especially true in speech, to avoid ambiguity with the various homophones, such as 面 ( men, “ face ” ) or 麺 ( men, “ noodle ” ).
Etymology 2 Edit
. Originally referred to any Old Japanese batting or stuffing, which was generally unspun silk. The meaning shifted after the spread of cotton in the Muromachi period.
Alternative forms Edit
綿 ( hiragana , わた rōmaji )
cotton plant raw
batting or stuffing ( figuratively ) the state of being exhausted or extremely tired ( likely from the hard work required to pick cotton )
のように 綿 ( わた ) 疲れた ( つか ) wata no yō ni tsukareta to be as tired as cotton → to be exhausted
Derived terms Edit