I was looking up the Korean word for “together”, when I came across its entry in the pure Korean dictionary on my iPhone. There’s this big bracket which seems to provide the etymology of the word.

I recognise some Hanja; they possibly refer to old Korean texts which made use of this word. I also see a few obsolete hangul symbols, meaning that some Middle Korean is written in there too. However, I am a beginner in Korean and do not understand the meaning of the text.

What information does the bracket convey? In particular, what does the “square root” indicate?

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure that there would be a legend of notations somewhere in the app, but not really sure so I'm writing this as a comment. From what I see, it seems like that sqrt refers to "root" of the word(etymology). The rest tells you how this word changed over time, giving examples w/citations. Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 23:44
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    "From root morpheme (√) 「⿳ㅎㆍㄴ」 (meaning 同一, one/unity) + root morpheme 「⿰⿱⿲ㅂㅅㄱㅡㅣ 」 (meaning , time)." Check out Naver's entry here.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 10:15
  • @dROOOze my new question is, who mapped these hangul to these Chinese characters?
    – Axel Tong
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 11:12
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    The dictionary maker. (I’m serious, this is not a hun’dok relationship with Hanja. The Naver entry shows that these hangul were described in the entry with native Korean words instead. It’s kind of like seeing differently worded definitions for the same word in different dictionaries.)...There might be a chance that there is a unified, industry standard set of brief Hanja terms which are used to academically translate Middle Korean roots, but I’m not a Korean linguist to be able to know such a fact.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


That is the etymology of 함께. ㅎㆍㅁ must be -, but most fonts do not fully support old Hangul characters.

√: root

[ ]: meaning (in Hanja) of the preceding character

→: word formation or synchronic change

>: diachronic change

( ): reference

月印 39: 其39 in "月印千江之曲 (1447)"

續三綱 忠 2: second case regarding 忠 in "續三綱行實圖 (1514)" (For -, it should have been 孝 not 忠. enter image description here is in 續三綱 忠 2.)

飜老 上 23: Page 23 of the first volume of "飜譯老乞大 (1517)"

譯解 下 51: Page 51 of the second volume of "譯語類解 (1690)"

敬信 22: Page 22 of "敬信錄諺釋 (or 敬信錄諺解) (1796)"

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