I'm trying to determine a suitable meaning for 사무치다 and 뼈저리다 in English. I understand that they have the meaning that some emotion is really strong/intense but can't find a translation in English. Please could you help me translate them and give me some example sentences that includes them? Many thanks in advance!

  • 4
    They mean that the emotion is so strong and deep that you can feel it "pervading your bones". I think "piercing one's soul/heart/etc" can be an option. Also note that the expression is usually combined with negative emotion that you can't resist, like sadness/frustration/pain, but not with anger or other emotions that leads to an immediate (counter-)action. It can also be used to describe an event that causes such emotion, like defeat or huge mistake. Sometimes it is used with verbs, like 뼈저리게 후회하다(to regret) or 사무치게 그립다(to miss someone). (In these examples, 뼈저리게 and 사무치게 are not exchangeable)
    – Absol
    Jul 27, 2020 at 10:36
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    Have you consulted this dictionary?
    – Klmo
    Jul 28, 2020 at 6:55
  • Thanks for your contributions! Absol, your explanation was very clear and thank you for the examples. Jul 28, 2020 at 18:26
  • looks like you could be a poet.... There is a great poet from Korea --Yun Dong-Ju. His poetry is beautiful but yet a little sad (Japanese era). In reading his poetry, it pierces the soul and both sadness and frustration. tonysweb.biz/song_poem/work/a-night-of-counting-the-stars.html
    – user3777
    May 26, 2021 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


We would use 사무치다 and 뼈저리다 in adverb form in most cases such as 사무치게, and 뼈저리게.

Both words basically means 'so bad', 'a lot', or any relevant words to emphasize any action verbs. 사무치게 means 'by touching deeply to the heart' and 뼈져리게 means 'like my bone hurts'. Both word basically is to express how much you want it.

For example, 한국 치킨이 뼈져리게 먹고싶다.

  1. I want to eat Korean Chicken so bad.
  2. I want to eat Korean Chicken a lot, like A LOT!
  3. I want to eat Korean Chicken and I want it so bad like even my bone hurts! (This is implied example, it would be odd to translate 뼈저리게 like this sentence in our daily conversation in English..)

For example, 그녀가 사무치게 그립다.

  1. I miss her so much.
  2. I miss her so bad.
  3. I miss her as like my emotions are touching deeply to the heart. (This is implied example, it would be odd to translate 사무치게 like this sentence in our daily conversation in English..)

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