Chinese name: 糸/ 纟

*纟is a common variation of 糸 radical.


Pinyin: sī

Chinese name: silk

Imagery: caterpillar producing silk

History of radical: This radical is called silk. In oracle bones it is a picture of a bundle of silk. Characters with this radical relate to silk product and its function. Silk was extremely valuable in Ancient China. Wearing silk was an important status symbol. Only royal members and noble class were allowed to wear silk. It wasn’t until the Qing dynasty that peasants were allowed to wear silk clothing.

For example: 

Examples for 糸:

  • 系(xì):tie, fasten
  • 紧(jǐn): tight
  • 素(sù): white silk; simple

Examples for 纟:

  • 织(zhī): weave
  • 细(xì): fine, delicate
  • 线(xiàn): thread