What's the difference between 河岸 vs 河畔? Don't they both mean river bank?

  • bkrs: bank(水边的陆地) bank; shore; coast: 海岸 coast; seashore 江岸 the bank of a river; a river bank 上岸 go ashore 海浪拍岸。 The sea washes the shore. 形 (书) (态度严峻或高傲) lofty: 傲岸 haughty 1) 水边高起之地。 2) 高傲,严正。 3) 谓将冠帽上推,露出前额。 4) 通“犴”。古代乡亭的拘留所。详“岸狱”。 5) 见“魁岸”。 shore beach coast edge side boundary bank (of a river etc) shore 名 (江、湖、道路等旁边; 附近) side; bank: 河畔 river bank; riverside 湖畔 the shore of a lake (田地的边界) boundary; border: 田畔 the border of a field1) 田界。 2) 界限;疆界。 3) 旁边;边侧。 4) 指边隅,角落。 5) 回避;躲避。 6) 混乱貌。 7) 通“叛”。违背;背离。 8) 通“叛”。背叛;叛变。 9) 见“畔援”。 10) 见“畔喭”。1
    – user6065
    Nov 16, 2017 at 7:26

2 Answers 2


河岸 = river bank.

畔 means "beside something / near something", not just rivers, e.g. 耳畔、桥畔.

You can take 河畔 as a literary version of 河边.

  • 岸= shores, 海岸 = sea shores
    – Tang Ho
    Nov 16, 2017 at 5:51
  • Agree on "河畔 as a literary version of 河边". 河畔 is rarely used in spoken. There isn't much difference in meaning between 河岸 and 河畔.
    – dan
    Nov 16, 2017 at 8:37
  • 畔 is commonly used in written language like in literature or lyrics, really rarely used in spoken. Just like that in written language we use 11月17日, but 11月17号 in spoken.
    – xenophōn
    Nov 17, 2017 at 4:43

I would add to Jason's answer that 畔 is more used in literature and is very rarely used in daily spoken language (unless maybe to invoke sort of a poetic feeling). Otherwise literally both mean the same thing to me.

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