Saying now is like trying to draw a line on a stream of water with a marker.

KANJI: KON KIN ima (now)

ASCII Art Representation:

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Character Etymology:

Somewhat obscure and contraversial. The prominent theory suggests that the top-part of this character is a cover and the bottom part represents the idea of "to put in a corner and hide." Thus to cover/hide.

Then, the character was borrowed to express sudden, which came to mean imminent and finally now.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: KON KIN
kun-yomi: ima

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: na

English Definitions:

  1. KIN, KON: now, the present; the coming; this.
  2. ima: now, present time; just now, soon, immediately; (one) more.
  3. ima(mekashii): fashionable.
  4. ima(mekasu): modernize.
  5. ima(motte): until now.
  6. ima-: modern.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 112
Henshall: 125

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(konshuu): this week.
(kotoshi): this year.
(kesa): this morning.


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Now (?), adv. [OE. nou, nu, AS. nu, nu; akin to D., OS., & OHG. nu, G. nu, nun, Icel., nu, Dan., Sw., & Goth. nu, L. nunc, Gr. , , Skr. nu, nu. 193. Cf. New.]


At the present time; at this moment; at the time of speaking; instantly; as, I will write now.

I have a patient now living, at an advanced age, who discharged blood from his lungs thirty years ago. Arbuthnot.


Very lately; not long ago.

They that but now, for honor and for plate, Made the sea blush with blood, resign their hate. Waller.


At a time contemporaneous with something spoken of or contemplated; at a particular time referred to.

The ship was now in the midst of the sea. Matt. xiv. 24.


In present circumstances; things being as they are; -- hence, used as a connective particle, to introduce an inference or an explanation.

How shall any man distinguish now betwixt a parasite and a man of honor ? L'Estrange.

Why should he live, now nature bankrupt is ? Shak.

Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now, Barabbas was a robber. John xviii. 40.

The other great and undoing mischief which befalls men is, by their being misrepresented. Now, by calling evil good, a man is misrepresented to others in the way of slander. South.

Now and again, now and then; occasionally. -- Now and now, again and again; repeatedly. [Obs.] Chaucer. -- Now and then, at one time and another; indefinitely; occasionally; not often; at intervals. "A mead here, there a heath, and now and then a wood." Drayton. -- Now now, at this very instant; precisely now. [Obs.] "Why, even now now, at holding up of this finger, and before the turning down of this." J. Webster (1607). -- Now . . . now, alternately; at one time . . . at another time. "Now high, now low, now master up, now miss." Pope.


© Webster 1913.

Now, a.

Existing at the present time; present.

[R.] "Our now happiness."



© Webster 1913.

Now, n.

The present time or moment; the present.

Nothing is there to come, and nothing past; But an eternal now does ever last. Cowley.


© Webster 1913.

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