I can grasp how卩 (“to kneel”) relates to definitions 1-3 below. But how does 皀 + 卩 compound to mean definitions 4-14 that don't relate to food or kneeling and that all differ from each other? Definitions 5 and 7 are the ones that overlap at all! I screenshot Yellowbridge.

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即 - Wiktionary

Glyph origin

Ideogrammic compound (會意):  (“ancient round-mouthed food vessel”) +  (“to kneel”) – to come near to eat; to approach.


  1. † to come near to eat
  2. † to approach; to come near; to be near
  3. † to ascend; to go up; to assume office
  4. prompted by the occasion
  5. though; although
  6. if; assuming
  7. even if; even though
  8. then
  9. while
  10. as soon as
  11. namely; that is; to be the same as; i.e.
  12. promptly; quickly; immediately; at once
  13. at present; today
  14. A surname​.

2 Answers 2


imo, yexxxxxxxxxx and wikxxxxxxx are suitable for beginner only. if you’re interested in etymology, use proper, and better tools; please.

multi-function chinese character database (漢語多功能字庫)

it’s maintained by the chinese university of hong kong


read the text in the middle, compare the character in oracle, bronze and seal script.

or, try the 小學堂 , of taiwan


read the character in oracle script, make a mental image :)




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