Chinese Character: Powerful, Mighty (雄)


By Epoch Times Staff

According to “Shuo Wen Jie Zi,” Xu Shen’s text Explaining Simple and Analyzing Compound Characters, the original meaning of the character 雄 was “the father of little birds,” or male birds.

The left side of the character 厷 (gōng) signifies both the pronunciation and the meaning, which is powerful or male. The right side is the radical 隹 (zhuī), which means birds.

Today, the character 雄 can be used as an adjective, adverb, or noun. As an adjective, it carries the meaning of “male,” such as in the word 雄獅, (xióngshī), male lion.

The meaning is also extended to be “powerful and ambitious.” For example, 雄心 (xióngxīn) means ambition or ambitious heart. As an adverb, it means to do something powerfully or forcefully, such as in 雄辯 (xióngbiàn), to eloquently or powerfully debate.

As a noun, 雄 signifies a powerful person, which can be positive or negative depending on the characters associated with it. Good examples of this are 英雄 (yīngxióng), hero, 梟雄 (xiāoxióng) an ambitious and ruthless character, and 奸雄, (gānxióng), anti-hero.

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