Graphical etymology
subjugate; attack the rebellious; collect taxes
on: SEI
kun: utsu yuku toru
names: iku so tada masa yuki
strokes: 8
radical: (no. 60)
journey; trip; expedition; to go on long campaign; to attack;
pinyin: zhēng
strokes: 8
radical: (no. 60)

Graphical etymology

征 is a phonogram of the also-sound type. The word 征 used to be written with the graph , which is the protoform of 征. When 正 started to get used often to write the (probably related) word “be straight, to correct”, the graph 征 was created by adding the signific in order to write the original word “to march on / against, campaign”.¹ While strictly 正 is the phonetic in 征, it lends both its (original) meaning and its sound.



  1. Ochiai, p. 139; Qiú, 2000, pp. 191-192; Schuessler, p. 612.
  2. Schuessler writes that traditionally 征 was analysed as “to correct > punish by military expedition” while in fact the word “be straight, correct” is derived from something like “to target, make straight for, march on” etc. (Schuessler, p. 612).

Additional details for 征

Morohashi: 10077 4.0817
Item no. in Henshall: 1472
SKIP code: 1-3-5
Four corner code: 2121.1
Korean reading: jeong
Kanjidic cross references: variant kanji (JIS): 13D35
Unihan English meanings (for Chinese):
invade, attack, conquer
Unihan on: SEI
Unihan kun: UTSU YUKU TORU
Unihan pinyin: zhēng
Unihan kSimplifiedVariant: 征
Unihan kTraditionalVariant: 征,徵