9 strokes
silk 糸 (糹)
promise, approximately, shrink
Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 4
JLPT level N3
94 of 2500 most used kanji in newspapers


Stroke order

On reading compounds

  • 約 【ヤク】 approximately, about, promise, appointment, engagement, shortening, reduction, simplification, contraction (in phonetics)
  • 約束 【ヤクソク】 promise, agreement, arrangement, one's word, contract, pact, appointment, engagement, date, convention, rule, destiny, fate
  • 締約 【テイヤク】 conclusion of a treaty
  • 成約 【セイヤク】 conclusion of a contract

Kun reading compounds

  • 約まる 【つづまる】 to compress, to shrink
  • 約める 【つづめる】 to abridge, to shorten, to economize
  • 約やか 【つづまやか】 concise, brief, humble, frugal, modest, discrete


Mandarin Chinese (pinyin):
yue1, yao1
yag, yo


  • promesa
  • aproximadamente
  • encogerse
  • economizar


  • promessa
  • aproximadamente
  • recuar


  • environ
  • promettre
  • abréger
  • raccourcir
726 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese (Florence Sakade)
621 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese 3rd edition (Henshall, Seeley and De Groot)
591 A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters (Kenneth G. Henshall)
137 A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage
3499 Classic Nelson (Andrew Nelson)
451 Essential Kanji (P.G. O’Neill)
808 Japanese Kanji Flashcards (Max Hodges and Tomoko Okazaki)
2.12 Japanese for Busy People
211 Kanji and Kana (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
211 Kanji and Kana, 2nd Edition (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
381 Kanji in Context (Nishiguchi and Kono)
1516 Kodansha Compact Kanji Guide
1632 Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
860 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1177 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition (Jack Halpern)
1374 Les Kanjis dans la tete (Yves Maniette)
27242X Morohashi
1280 New Japanese English Character Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
4440 New Nelson (John Haig)
1362 Remembering The Kanji (James Heisig)
1462 Remembering The Kanji, 6th edition (James Heisig)
258 The Kanji Way to Japanese Language Power (Dale Crowley)
534 Tuttle Kanji Cards (Alexander Kask)
2752 2001 Kanji
6a3.7 The Kanji Dictionary
1-6-3 SKIP code
2792.0 Four corner code
1-44-83 JIS X 0208-1997 kuten code
7d04 Unicode hex code