Kangxi Dictionary

Kangxi Dictionary

pic=K'ang Hsi Dictionary.jpg

p=Kāngxī Zìdiǎn
w=K'ang-hsi Tzu-tien
j=Hong1 hei1 zi6 din2
y=Hōnghēi Jihdín
poj=Khong-hi Jī-tián
revhep=Kōki Jiten

The "Kangxi Dictionary" was the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Kangxi Emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty ordered its compilation in 1710 and it was published in 1716. The dictionary is named after the Emperor's era name.


The "Kangxi Dictionary" editors, including Zhang Yushu ( _zh. 張玉書) and Chen Tingjing ( _zh. 陳廷敬), partly based it on two Ming Dynasty dictionaries: the 1615 "Zihui" ( _zh. 字彙 "Character Collection") by Mei Yingzuo ( _zh. 梅膺祚), and the 1627 "Zhengzitong" ( _zh. 正字通 "Correct Character Mastery") by Zhang Zilie (張自烈). Since the imperial edict required that the "Kangxi Dictionary" be compiled within five years, a number of errors were inevitable. The Daoguang Emperor established a review board and their 1831 "Zidian kaozheng" ( _zh. 字典考證 "Character Dictionary Textual Research") corrected 2,588 mistakes, mostly in quotations and citations. (Teng and Biggerstaff 1971: 130)

The supplemented dictionary contains 47,035 character entries, plus 1,995 graphic variants, giving a total of 49,030 different characters. They are grouped under the 214 radicals and arranged by the number of additional strokes in the character. Although these 214 radicals were first used in the "Zihui", due to the popularity of the "Kangxi Dictionary" they are known as Kangxi radicals and remain in modern usage as a method to categorize traditional Chinese characters.

The character entries give variants (if any), pronunciations in traditional fanqie spelling and in modern reading of a homophone, different meanings, and quotations from Chinese books and lexicons. The dictionary also contains rime tables with characters ordered under syllable rime classes, tones, and initial syllable onsets.

The "Kangxi Dictionary" is available in many forms, from old Qing Dynasty editions in block printing, to reprints in traditional Chinese bookbinding, to modern revised editions with essays in Western-style hardcover, to the digitized Internet version.

The "Kangxi Dictionary" is one of the Chinese dictionaries used by the Ideographic Rapporteur Group for the Unicode standard.

Structure of the Kangxi dictionary

* Preface by Kangxi Emperor : pp. 1-6 ( _zh. 御製序)
* Notes on the use of the dictionary : pp. 7-12 ( _zh. 凡例)
* Indication of pronuciation of characters : pp. 13-40 ( _zh. 等韻)
* Comprehensive table of contents by radicals : pp. 41-49 ( _zh. 總目)
* Facilitated consulting contents : pp. 50-71 ( _zh. 检字)

* The dictionary proper : pp. 75-1631
** Main text : pp. 75-1538
** Addendum contents : pp. 1539-1544 ( _zh. 補遺)
** Addendum text : pp. 1545-1576
** Appendix contents (No-source-characters) : pp. 1577-1583 ( _zh. 備考)
** Appendix text : pp. 1585-1631
* Postscript : pp. 1633-1635 ( _zh. 後記)
* Textual research : pp. 1637-1683 ( _zh. 考证)

ee also

*Dai Kan-Wa jiten
*Hanyu Da Zidian
*List of Kangxi radicals
*Peiwen Yunfu
*Zhonghua Da Zidian


*Teng, Ssu-yü and Biggerstaff, Knight. 1971. "An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Chinese Reference Works", 3rd ed. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-03851-7

External links

* [http://www.kangxizidian.com 康熙字典網上版 Kangxi Dictionary Net Version]
* [http://www.chinaknowledge.de/Literature/Science/kangxizidian.html Kangxi zidian 康熙字典] , English translation of one definition, on Chinaknowledge.de
* [https://seguecommunity.middlebury.edu/index.php?&action=site&site=tbilling&section=11854&page=48886&story=150166&detail=150166 Making Friends with the "Kangxi zidian" 康熙字典] , Occasional paper with translation of Kangxi Emperor's preface 御製康熙字典序
* [http://www.zdic.net 汉典 The Chinese Language Dictionary Homepage (in Chinese only)]

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