I came across the word '핍박' a few days ago while reading an article. In the dictionary this translates to 'persecution', but I've only ever known the word '박해' having this meaning. Could anybody please tell me the difference between these two words and when one is used over the other? I don't know if '해' meaning harm/damage has anything to do with their different usages?

I asked my friend about the difference and they said that they don't really know the difference, but they use '핍박하다' to describe when they've got no money. I didn't really understand their explanation of this so if anybody could explain that meaning as well that would be great thank you!

1 Answer 1


In modern Korean, 핍박 (逼迫) is a synonym for 박해 (迫害) in its meaning of "persecution"; however, 핍박 does come across as slightly 'older' than 박해. For example, most Bibles in Korean use 박해 if they've been translated since the 1980s, but e.g. the 1956 개역한글판 uses 핍박.

However, there is an additional meaning of 핍박, that of financial stringency. This definition is a key meaning of the cognate of 逼迫 in Japanese, 逼迫 (ひっぱく, hippaku). Both languages use this in the specialised context of finance and economics (e.g. 금융 핍박).

핍 逼 as a hanja is classically defined as 핍박할 핍, which doesn't really help! In Chinese (from Classical to modern Mandarin) 逼 has always had similar semantics to compel, force, pressure. The two terms in modern Mandarin retain different non-overlapping definitions.


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