The Arrow Radical 矢: Overview, Mnemonics, and Vocabulary

The Arrow Radical 矢: Overview, Mnemonics, and Vocabulary

Ever thought that this radical, 矢, looks like an arrow?

Well, you’re not wrong. That is the Chinese arrow radical. Knowing this arrow radical and others allows you to break down complex Hanzi to fully understand its definition.

So strap in, to learn more about the Chinese arrow radical. 

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What is the arrow radical?

chinese arrow radical page

Arrow radical

The Chinese radical for arrow is 矢 shǐ. The arrow radical is composed of 5 strokes and listed as radical 111 according to the Kangxi radical chart (a system of radicals of Chinese characters). Appears in 64 characters (out of 49,030). 

The arrow radical 矢 shǐ was originally a pictogram similar to 厂 hǎn(cliff), 目 mù (eye), or 牛 niú (cow). As a result, it conveys the idea of an arrow through pictorial drawing. Let’s look at how this radical has transformed over the years to see how it’s more recognizable in older forms.

What is the stroke order of the arrow radical?

矢 arrow radical stroke order

Chinese arrow radical stroke order

How can you memorize the arrow radical?

You can memorize the arrow radical by using your imagination that it looks like an arrow.

To memorize the arrow radical stroke order and meaning, try this mnemonicDo you see that one (一) big (大) slash (丿) on the side of his face? Rumor has it he accidentally cut himself with his own arrow.

If you want to memorize Chinese radicals and learn complex characters, try using Pandanese! It combines mnemonics with the SRS to have you review hanzi that is difficult for you. Making your Chinese learning journey different from others. 

An arrow radical vocabulary list for you!

Interested in learning some vocabulary related to the arrow radical? Enrich your knowledge with these essential words, which contain the arrow radical.



English meaning


shǐ liàng


to wait 


know, understand, be aware of





wisdom, resourcefulness; cleverness, bright

steel square




besides, moreover, in addition


to hesitate

In closing

Now you know the basic overview of the Chinese arrow radical. Based on our list arrow radical vocabulary list, seeing this radical can indicate direction, action, travel, or speed. So next time you see the Chinese arrow radical, think about the overall meaning of complex Hanzi. 

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