I'm a relative beginner in Chinese. I was trying to draw the character 乔, but missed one stroke and instead got 夰. I was trying to find the meaning of this character before I realised my mistake. I was surprised how little information there is about this character. Several dictionaries don't even contain this character, and Pleco tells me that the pinyin for this character is gao3 but does not give any definition. It is in the basic block of CJK unified ideographs (5930), and appears in the Kangxi dictionary. Are there lots of these characters which have no definition given in English and how would they be used? What does or did this character mean?
夰 ( gǎo / ㄍㄠˇ ) has two meanings.
分散: disheveled; dispersed; scattered.
放縱輕佻: indulging and frivolous.
- 古同「昊」。 1. 天。 2. 氣。
Same as 昊 ( hào / ㄏㄠˋ ) in the ancient times. It means 1. heaven or 2. an abstract term, the status of the environment.
However, 《說文解字》 explains 夰 as 放.
And, 《說文解字注》 explains 放 as 逐 (to expel).
Are there lots of these characters which have no definition given in English?
Yes. CJK basic characters start from U+4E00 to U+9FFF. There are 20924 words in this range. Even native Chinese do not know many of them.
The unicode of 夰 is U+5930. Let's just check the characters around 夰 from U+5921 to U+5940. I think most of native Chinese don't know how to read the following words, not to mention their meanings.
How would they be used?
Usually, we don't use them at all.
U+5921 夡 ( qì / ㄑㄧˋ ) many
U+5926 夦 ( chěn / ㄔㄣˇ ) many
U+5928 夨 ( cè / ㄘㄜˋ ) = 側
U+5933 夳 ( tài / ㄊㄞˋ ) = 太
U+5935 夵 ( yǎn or tāo / ㄧㄢˇ or ㄊㄠ) something that the upper part is larger
U+5936 夶 ( bǐ / ㄅㄧˇ ) = 比
Most people probably wouldn't know (or have even ever seen) the character 夰, before, but anyway.
北周 卫元嵩 《元包经·太阴》
北周 卫元嵩 《元包经·太阴》
So, for #1 夰 means the same as 昊 - namely "sky/heavens" & #2 gas/air