Chinese Character for Fortune, Fate, Luck: Yùn (運)

Representing a turn or revolution of destiny

By Cindy Chan
Epoch Times


The Chinese character 運 (yùn) is a pictophonetic character—one formed by combining a component that indicates the meaning with a component that indicates the sound.

運 has multiple meanings. It means to move, transport, or carry, or to turn or revolve. It also refers to fortune, fate, luck, or a turn or revolution of destiny.

At the bottom is the radical 辶 (chuò), a pictograph of a foot, which means to walk. The character 軍 (jūn), on top, meaning soldier or army, provides the pronunciation.

Terms combining 運 with other characters help to explain the character’s variety of meanings.

They include 運入 (yùn rù), import; 運出 (yùn chū), export; 運行 (yùn xíng), to revolve; 運河 (yùn hé), canal; and 運動 (yùn dòng), meaning sports or a motion or movement. 運動員 (yùn dòng yuán) refers to an athlete and 運動律 (yùn dòng lǜ) to the law of motion.

命運 (mìng yùn) or 運命 (yùn mìng) indicates fate or destiny, where the character 命 means life or destiny. Other terms include 幸運 (xìng yùn), lucky; 好運 (hǎo yùn), good luck or lucky fate; 逆運 (nì yùn), bad luck; and 運氣 (yùn qi), one’s luck or fortune.

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