The Chinese character 水

And its meaning component form 氵


  1. water

The Chinese character 水 was initially drawn to resemble water trickling. Don’t you think it still looks like water?

水 is both a character and a character component

Everything you need to know about the Chinese character component æ°´ water in an easily downloadable and sharable image

水 can be used as a meaning component in a Chinese character. It then appears in its simple form: , which looks like drops of water. You’ll find 水 in characters and words related directly or indirectly to water, rivers or liquid.

These characters all contain 水 and have a direct link with water or liquids:


sea; ocean

to wash


to swim; to travel



The character component 水(氵)  can also be found in words that aren’t directly related to water.

The meaning component   can be found in Chinese characters and words that are related to water or liquid, which makes sense. You can also find the meaning component water in characters that are less directly related to water or liquids, either because their meaning has evolved over time, or because it used to involve water before and no longer does.

Chinese characters
related to water

You can find the character component 水 used in words indirectly related to liquids, such as:

 pào: bubble; foam

 shēn: deep; profound; dark (of colors; water; etc)

 qīng: clear; distinct, quiet 

You can also find the character component  氵used in other words like:

 méi: to not have; there is not; to be without

fǎ: law; method; way

 mǎn: full

You’ll also find the meaning component 氵 for water in many other Chinese characters. Browse the full list here. 

All 80,000+ Chinese characters share the same character components. Chinese character components are therefore essential for Chinese learners: they are the building blocks of Chinese. Chinese character components help tremendously with understanding a character: they provide information on its meaning or on its pronunciation. In short, knowing character components will help you analyse, learn and remember each Chinese character much better.

Join us on Ninchanese as we teach you everything about the Chinese character components you need to know, little by little.

Related: Explore character components one by one, with this selection of meaning components and phonetic components.

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NinchaneseCharacter Component 水 water (meaning)