Here's 汉典's rendition of 𫘏:


𫘏 according to 四川方言词语考释 dictionary means 板着(脸).



该字暂无解释!希望有识之士提供! ("This character doesn't have an explanation yet! We hope someone who knows to add one!")


暂无解释,欢迎补充。("There is no definition for now, you're welcome to add one.")

  • Does Mandarin Ever Use This Character? If So, In What Context, With What Meaning?
  • 汉典 would list up all characters that ever existed in the Chinese language, or maybe even Japanese or Korean. A lot of them are not used in modern Chinese.
    – fefe
    Aug 4, 2015 at 4:34
  • @倪阔乐 That's really a wild claim. I don't think you can classify any language as strictly "spoken" or "written". I'd say the more appropriate explanation is that many spoken sounds used in daily conversations didn't have corresponding character forms. However this is a phenomenon occuring throughout the whole history of Chinese, not only for modern Mandarin. And it's exactly because of this reason that characters as this one are getting added to dictionary. I'd say very probably many characters throughout history existed first in spoken form, then written.
    – xji
    Aug 7, 2015 at 11:49
  • I can't really tell what 板着(脸) means…
    – MickG
    Sep 6, 2015 at 15:06
  • FYI: here is a list of word that uses 馬: zidian.odict.net/bushou-862117716 Yet, I can't find the one in question. Sep 6, 2015 at 19:35

3 Answers 3


I think the explanation is that Chinese is not only written but spoken, and a lot of characters, while used in idiomatic daily speech, don't really have a formal written counterpart. If you ask locals to actually write this character out, most likely they'll write a commonly used character with the same pronunciation. However, language experts who wrote the dictionary insist on assigning a formal written form to each character out there, and they recognize the fact that this character has a totally separate meaning than the commonly used surrogate character, thus they likely invented this new character just to represent this idiomatic sound. This is a common phenomenon if you browse through modern Chinese dictionaries.

  • your idea can tell why it cannot be found in dictionary, but not explaining why it has a part as 馬……it's reasonable that this is at first referring to something about horse in ancient time
    – gcd0318
    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:49
  • Don't think it's the case necessarily. Isn't horse's face quite stern-looking by human standards? It's a natural choice as a part of this invented character. You have to choose something as a part of this character after all, otherwise how do you form a new character to represent this new thing? @gcd0318
    – xji
    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:54
  • I'm talking about the original meaning for this character. Maybe you have no idea about Chinese habits for generating characters. it frequently talked about in almost all character books that there are 6 ways to generate Chinese characters (象形,转注,假借,指事,会意,形声), and 形声 (meaning-sound pair) is one of them, and the most frequently used one. For this character, 馬 could be about meaning, and telling us this character is about horse, while 面 is about sound, telling us it should sounds like "mian", but not horse's face (why don't you guess it as about horse with flour? this is a question to you)
    – gcd0318
    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:59
  • In fact the parts choice is not natural nor random. It's always reasonable. maybe you don't know the logic nor the rule to choose each part of a Chinese character. I suggest you to read some boot about 训诂, which is knowledge about why the characters are in this way (the writing and the sound), but not others
    – gcd0318
    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:06

Just like English, Mandarin uses only few thousand words for day to day communication.(including news paper and such) This word is not being used currently and it would be hard to start using it since its not included in regular Chinese character set on computers.


I never seen any Mandarin Chinese use this character. And from your question, this character may belong to Sichuanese dialect. Both Sichuanese and Cantonese have characters that are only used by themselves and do not appear in Mandarin Chinese.
From the meaning you looked up, this character means "with a straight face". The right half of the character means "face", and the left half "horse". A horse's face is long and straight. (Interesting enough that it nearly resembles(?) the same meaning in English).

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