Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 7: 12/17

めく

Like, To show signs of, To have the appearance of, To come to a (state) similar to, Somewhat, An air of, Feels almost like

Structure

Noun + めい
Noun + めいている
Noun[Season] + めいてきた​​
Noun + めいた + Noun

Details

  • Register

    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About めく・めいた

めく is a fairly unique う-Verb in Japanese in that it will only be used as a suffix. This is due to its meaning of 'to show signs of (A)', or 'to have the appearance of (A)'. It will be attached to nouns that the speaker experiences to be the case.
As めく itself is a verb, it may appear in several different conjugation forms depending on how it is describing the rest of the sentence. When connected directly to a second noun, the past-tense form めいた is most common.
  • 昨日(きのう)までは(うそ)みたいに(あつ)かったのに、やっと(はる)めいてきた!
    It has been hot until yesterday, but it's finally starting to become spring-like!
  • 冗談(じょうだん)めいて()ったが、多分(たぶん)冗談(じょうだん)だったということは()づいていないと(おも)う。
    I said it like a joke, but I don't think they understood it as a joke.
  • 皮肉(ひにく)めいたことを()ってしまって、相手(あいて)(だま)()んでしまった。
    I said something which sounded like sarcasm and the other person fell silent.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)はなんか(なぞ)めいた雰囲気(ふんいき)があるよね。
    She has a somewhat mysterious vibe, doesn't she?
This 'that the speaker experiences to be the case' part is important, as めく will almost always highlight the speaker's own personal feelings in regard to (A), and how they perceive it. The thing being described as (A) will usually not actually be (A), and the speaker is often aware of this fact.
Caution - めく is mostly used with set nouns, so it is best to only use it with expressions that you have already heard. Some examples are (なぞ)めく 'to appear to be a riddle', 皮肉(ひにく)めく 'to appear to be sarcastic', ()(わけ)めく 'to appear to be an excuse', (つく)(もの)めく 'to appear to be fictitious', and seasons of the year.

Examples

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  • 手紙(てがみ)挨拶(あいさつ):「九月(くがつ)になると(そら)(かぜ)もだいぶ(あき)めいてまいりました。お()わりありませんか。」

    Greetings in letter:In September, the sky and wind start to get quite autumn-like. How have you been?

    With exception of 春めく and 秋めく, the nouns with this suffix are generally used in past form.

    • 小説(しょうせつ):「その()らせを()いて彼女(かのじょ)(かお)には(なぞ)めいた微笑(びしょう)()かんでいた。」

      Novel: 'Hearing the news, a somewhat mysterious smile appeared on her face.'

      謎めいた is basically a set expression meaning 'mysterious' or 'enigmatic'.

      • (つく)(もの)めいて()えるほど、平穏(へいおん)(うつく)しい景色(けしき)だった。

        It was calm and beautiful scenery, to the point of looking man-made.

        • 小説(しょうせつ):「いつのまにか(ふゆ)()り、かなり(はる)めいていた。」

          Novel: 'Before I knew it, it had already gotten quite spring-like.'

          • 彼女(かのじょ)気分(きぶん)()げるため、(なに)冗談(じょうだん)めいた、とるに()りない(はなし)をしようとした。

            In order to improve her mood, I tried to tell a joke-like, non-serious story.

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            めく・めいた – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (1 in total)

            • matt_in_mito

              matt_in_mito

              Can anyone enlighten me as to why this takes this form? I can’t get my head round it…

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