What is an example of a word that is different in definition or more clarified in the Kangxi dictionary than in the Zhengzitong dictionary?

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    These are two different types of publications. 康熙字典 (Kāngxī Zìdiǎn) is a dictionary for words, 永乐大典 (Yǒnglè Dàdiǎn) is a genre of reference books historically compiled in China and other East Asian countries, it is similar to the "encyclopedia" of books. I don't know what you have in mind, for example....?
    – r13
    Sep 17, 2022 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


The Zhengzitong dictionary was replaced by the Kangxi dictionary. Both dictionaries are currently out of date and have only archaeological value. Zhengzitong pays more attention to the explanation of the usage and meaning of Chinese characters, while Kangxi Dictionary pays more attention to the detailed description of the phonetic rhythm, shape, explanation and usage of Chinese characters. Both dictionaries are organized by the shape of Chinese characters, which is the most efficient way to look up. When looking up any word, first divide the word into four parts: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. Searching the character according to the strokes of these four parts is the fastest method of looking up Chinese characters currently known. However, the Kangxi dictionary deleted many dialects and idioms in the Zhengzitong dictionary, so the Zhengzitong dictionary still has some value.

Both dictionaries explain Chinese characters, and the difference between the years of two dictionaries is only one dynasty, and the meaning of Chinese characters is usually very stable. The definition of a word in two dictionaries can be slightly different, but basically the same.

If you absolutely need an example, I can show you one, but you'll still see little difference. 热 characters is explained as: "温也"、"烈也" in the Kangxi Dictionary, and in the Zhengtong Dictionary as: "气息运动,物体之势也","情动之气,血液循流也". The explanation of this word in the two dictionaries is quite different compared with others, but if you go deeper into these explanations, you will find that the difference is not that great, and they are basically the same.

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