My understanding of very-magic regexes is that you can escape any character outside [A-Za-z0-9_] with a backslash to make it match literally. However, I don't see that behaviour with CJK characters. For example, compare:

:echo match('中','\v中')         " succeeds (returns 0)
:echo match('中','\v\中')        " fails (returns -1)


Test environments

encoding=utf-8 in:

  • official GVim 7.4 Win32 with +iconv/dyn, +multi_byte_ime/dyn, and +multi_lang. (Strangely, it does not show +multi_byte, but UTF-8 editing works fine.)

  • Vim 8.0 with +iconv, +multi_byte, and +multi_lang running in Cygwin through mintty 3.0.0. $LANG is en_US.UTF-8.

1 Answer 1


According to :h /\v:

                            */\v* */\V*
Use of "\v" means that after it, all ASCII characters except '0'-'9', 'a'-'z',
'A'-'Z' and '_' have special meaning: "very magic"

It's ASCII characters, not any characters.

According to :h /\:

                            */\* */\\*
\x  A backslash followed by a single character, with no special meaning,
    is reserved for future expansions

Therefore, \中 has no meaning — it's just a reserved sequence.

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