Chinese name: 刀/刂

*刂 is a common variation of 刀 radical.


Pinyin: dāo

English name: knife

Imagery: a knife

History of radical: This radical is called knife and its variation 刂 is always placed to the right of a character. In oracle bones it is a picture of a sharp knife or an ancient weapon. In Chinese culture, gifting knives has always been considered bad luck because a knife will sever the friendship between the giver and the recipient. Characters with this radical relate to knife or its functions.

For example: 

examples for 刀

  • 刃 (rèn): knife edge
  • 切 (qiē): cut
  • 剪 (jiǎn): scissors

examples for刂

  • 剑   (jiàn): sword
  • 刨   (páo): peel
  • 削   (xiāo): sharpen