to use; according to; so as to

Made up of [ rén person radical 9, hidden; concealed; small radical 5]
Made with 4 strokes.
An old pictograph of a mouth making a sound, no connection with current borrowed meaning
Ancient small seal form Small seal

Related characters

Also uses rén component: chá (tea) cóng (from) (why) huì (can) jīn (modern) jiǔ (long time) lìng (to order) shè (residence) shí (eat) zhòng (many) zuò (seat) zuò (sit)
Also uses component: chī (to eat) (why) jiǔ (nine) kǒng (great) (ceremony) lìng (to order) luàn (in confusion or disorder) mài (sell) mǎi (buy) (to practice) (also) 亿 (100,000,000) (skill) (to recollect)

Sounds same

(hidden) (chair) (already) (twist)

Different tone

(one) (doctor) (clothes) (clothes) (proper) (barbarians) (easy) 亿 (100,000,000) (justice) (also) (city) (catch) (skill) (to recollect) (idea) (different)

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Sound file kindly provided by under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License

stroke order for 以
Stroke order for character 以, kindly provided under Wikimedia creative commons license


日以继夜 rì yǐ jì yè Working without a break. Exhausted
授人以鱼只解一时之急,授人以渔 则解一生之需 shòu rén yǐ yú zhǐ jiù yī shí zhī jí, shòu rén yǐ yú zé jiě yī shēng zhī xū It is important to learn a skill that will last for life
星星之火可以燎原 xīng xīng zhī huǒ kě yǐ liáo yuán Need for great care and meticulous planning
以卵击石 yǐ luǎn tóu shí Overrating strength and being defeated. Defeat guaranteed.
物以类聚 wù yǐ lèi jù People tends to form groups with like-minded individuals.
欺以其力 qī yǐ qí lì To skilfully deceive. Invent a lie that fools the audience. Playing a clever trick.