The Chinese character 山

And its meaning component form

shān

  1. mountain
  2. hill
  3. anything that resembles a mountain

The Chinese character 山 was initially drawn to resemble a mountain with three peaks. Can you see?

山 is both a character and a character component


Everything you need to know about the Chinese character component 山 mountain in an easily downloadable and sharable image

can be used as a meaning component in a Chinese character. You’ll find 山 in characters and words related directly or indirectly to mountains, rocks or coastal areas.

These characters all contain 山 and have a direct link with mountains:

yuè

high mountain

lǐng

mountain range

àn

bank; shore; beach; coast

tàn

wood charcoal; coal

The character component 山 can also be found in words that aren’t directly related to mountains.

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

Secrecy and immortality are two themes you’ll often find related to mountains. Mountains were believed to keep all the world’s secrets and as they are so old, people also believe they are immortal and peaceful structures.

Chinese characters
indirectly
related to mountains

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

: secret; confidential

xiān: immortal

 yōu: hidden away; serene; peaceful

 suì: year; age; classifier

 chū: to go out

You’ll also find the meaning component 山 for mountain 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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ninchaChinese Character Component 山 mountain (meaning)