Wiktionary has the following entry for the etymology of 邏輯:

Phono-semantic matching of English logic.

However, the Chinese Wikipedia entry states the following:


Which seems to imply there isn't sort of semantic hint in the Chinese translation. Looking at the invidiual characters 邏 (who's meanings revolve around to patrol) and 輯 (to collect, to compile, etc.), I fail to see any semantic hints. Is the Chinese word 邏輯 actually a phono-semantic matching of the English word logic? If so, what is the semantic connection bewteen the two words?

1 Answer 1


No, it's a transliteration.

The Chinese term「邏輯」first appeared in a Chinese translation of John Stuart Mill's A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive. The Chinese translation title is 《穆勒名學》 by 嚴復, and the Chinese word「邏輯」is directly explained there:


To add, the only manner of any kind of semantic matching is「輯」(compile), which is the explanation of「邏各斯」turning into「邏輯」. From the same paragraph:


but this isn't a semantic matching of the Greek root, and more a semantic matching of the rather wide application of the suffix -ology.

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