As in the title. Are there any cases when these two are interchangeable? If yes, when? What are the nuances that distinguish them? It would be great if one can tackle the etymology of the two.

  • bkrs:傍晚 in the evening when night falls towards evening at night fall at dusk 晚上evening night CL:个[gè] in the evening (as reflected by English translation, the first being more colorful)
    – user6065
    Jul 15, 2017 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


 1. 靠:依山~水。

 2. 临近:~晚。~黑。~亮。


◎ 傍

be close to   draw near


by side of, beside, near, close


[evening;at dusk (nightfall);toward evening] 靠近晚上的时候。亦称“黄昏”

傍晚 basically is compromised of 傍 "close (to)" + 晚上 "nighttime"


[evening;night] 从日落或晚饭至寝宴的一段时间

The Chinese literally says night is beginning at nightfall or dinner time.


time after sunset

as to whether they are interchangeable or not, well this really depends on the cognitive abilities of each person - my dusk might be your nighttime - it's hard to say for sure.

as for the entomology of 晚 Outlier says:


日 In 晚, 日 is a semantic component.

免 In 晚 wǎn, 免 miǎn is a sound component, though this is not obvious in modern Mandarin.

  • 1
    免 is the sound component in 晚, but it is also a semantic component. 日 is sun; 免 carries the meaning of 'remove from' 晚 = remove the sun (from the sky). It is a 會意形聲字 (combined ideogram with phonetic component)
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 15, 2017 at 12:25

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