闻 Wén 闻 | Smell, Hear

闻 is a phono-semantic compound written with the semantic component 耳 "Ear" inside its radical and phonetic character 门 "Door, Gate". The original meaning of 闻 was "to hear" and its written composition illustrates the concept of placing an ear against a door to hear what is happening on the other side.

闻 is a versatile word, often used to reference using the senses to gain information. Depending on the context of its usage, 闻 can mean: to hear, to smell, to sniff, to make known, famous or news. 闻 is combined with other characters to form words such as 闻 (wén chū) "smell", 新闻 (xīn wén) "news", 传闻 (chuán wén) "rumors", 闻 (jiàn wén) "knowledge", 闻 (wén rén) "celebrity", and 丑闻 (chǒu wén) "scandal".

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