First attested in the Jīlín lèishì (鷄林類事 / 계림유사), 1103, as Late Old Korean 南木 (Yale: *nàmò(k)). Also attested in the same source as (Yale: *nàm) and as 南記 (Yale: *nàmkí). Ultimately from ancestral *나ᄆᆞᆨ (Yale: *nàmòk).[1] Perhaps related, via ancient language contact, to Old Chinese (OC *C.mˤok, “tree”).

In the Hangul script, first attested in the Yongbi eocheonga (龍飛御天歌 / 용비어천가), 1447, as Middle Korean 나모 (Yale: nàmwò). The Middle Korean word had two allomorphs, surfacing as 나모 (nàmwò) in isolation and when followed by a consonant-initial suffix and as 나ᇚ (nàmk-) when followed by a vowel-initial suffix. The distinction is no longer maintained in most Korean dialects, although in some dialects the base form is based on nàmk- rather than nàmwò.


Revised Romanization?namu
Revised Romanization (translit.)?namu
Yale Romanization?namu

South Gyeongsang (Busan) pitch accent: 의 / 나에 / 나무

Syllables in red take high pitch. This word always takes high pitch only on the second syllable, except before consonant-initial multisyllabic suffixes, when it takes full low pitch.


나무 (namu) (counter 그루)

  1. tree
  2. wood
    나무는 종이를 만드는 재료로 쓰인다.
    Namuneun jong-ireul mandeuneun jaeryoro sseu-inda.
    Wood is the material used to make paper.
    최근 어느 바람 불던 , 수백 방문객 빙하 에서 사진 찍으려고 나무 계단 올라갔다.
    Choegeunui eoneu baram buldeon nal, subaengmyeong-ui bangmun-gaegi bingha apeseo sajineul jjigeuryeogo namu gyedaneul ollagatda.
    On a recent windy day, hundreds of visitors climbed wooden stairs to take pictures in front of the glacier.

Derived termsEdit


  1. ^ Lee, Ki-Moon; Ramsey, S. Robert (2011) A History of the Korean Language, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 147