Based on the dictionary, I get the meaning that all 4 words mean brain, mind, head. So what's the difference between each of the words? And what is the usage of each word? It will be really helpful if to me if you guys can provide sample sentences to show me how to use the words. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


脑袋 is literally referring to the head, the biological head of a person.

脑子 is also referring to the biological brain. You can say

他的脑子里有许多奇怪的想法 means he is having a lot of weird thoughts in his brain

他脑子不好使 means he is not smart

头脑 and 脑筋 are similar, they both mean mind in some way, but are used in different places

他很有头脑 means he is a smart guy

脑筋急转弯 is a puzzle game like the following

Who is closer to you, your mom or your dad? Mom is closer, because dad is farther.

头脑 and 脑筋 are most commonly used in those two places, so you are good with them once you have those two examples in mind.


which dictionary? online dictionaries e.g. iciba, bkrs, LINE dict. make distinctions providing sample sentences showing these distinctions,

bkrs(excerpts): 脑袋 #2214 head skull brains mental capability CL:颗,个1) 头。我脑袋疼 2) 犹脑筋 most frequently in:脑袋瓜 脑袋瓜儿 1) 头部。如:「他走路不小心跌倒,脑袋瓜受了点伤。2) 记忆、想像、思考等能力。如:「他一整天都在发呆,脑袋瓜不知道在想些什么 syn. 首级([chopped-off head] 古时指斩下的人头), 头, 首, 头颅 iciba:1.她使出全身力气抡起榔头砸向他的脑袋(at his head)2.球砸中他的脑袋,从而让他化解了一次射门。(hit on the head)3.他当时就威胁要打爆他的脑袋。(blow his head off)

脑子 #2528 (1) [brain]∶见"脑" 脑髓 (2) [mind]∶大脑的思维活动 问题是复杂的, 我们的脑子也要复杂一点 CL:个gè (脑) brain (脑筋) brains; mind; head; mental power; intelligence: 没脑子 no brains most frequently in: 动脑子 (use one's head/brain) 疑念在他脑子里翻腾起伏 脑子里闪过了一个念头 syn,同义①: 脑, 脑力, 头脑, 脑筋 同义②: 脑髓, 脑

头脑 #3068 I n. 1) brains; mind 她很有政治头脑。 She's politically-minded. 2) coll. head; leader 3) main threads; clue II cons. 1) SV tóu SV nǎo: SV-looking 傻头傻脑 stupid-looking 2) A tóu B nǎo: miscellaneous things for AB 针头线脑 odds and ends needed for needlework (思维能力) brains; mind: 头脑不清 mixed-up; muddleheaded 很有头脑 有数学头脑
不用头脑 胜利冲昏头脑 (头绪) main threads; clue: 摸不着头脑 cannot make head or tail of sth. most frequently in:有头脑 冲昏头脑 头头脑脑 syn.同义①: 眉目, 线索, 头绪, 条理 同义②: 脑筋, 脑子, 脑, 脑力

脑筋 #9288 (1) [brains; mind; head]∶指思维、 记忆等能力 动脑筋 (2) [ideas]∶指思想意识 脑筋太旧 1) 脑神经 2) 泛指思考力、记忆力等 脑筋昏乱 脑筋简单 脑筋灵敏 syn. 脑子, 脑, 脑力, 头脑 most frequently in:动脑筋 伤脑筋 cause sb. enough headache; knotty; troublesome; bothersome: 死脑筋(1) [one-track mind]∶思想僵化固执 (2) [stubborn person]∶指这样的人 他真是个死脑筋 换脑筋 指改造思想或改变旧的观念 view from a different perspective 老脑筋 old way of thinking; a stubborn old brain; be old fashioned

"汉语同义词词典"脑袋/头颅 [同]名词。指头[异][脑袋]用于人,也用于动物。可带形容词"大、小"等作的定语。用于口语。例:(1)灯光下,坐着一个大脑袋的国民党军官。(李准<黄河东流去>)(2)他极愿帮我们的忙,可是连他也不住地抓脑袋(老舍<八方风雨>)(3)池塘里有一群小蝌蚪,大脑袋,黑身子,甩着长长的尾巴,快活地游来游去。(小学课本<语文>)(4)鲤鱼被揪着脑袋从渔篓里拽出来。(陈玙<夜幕下的哈尔滨>)

[头颅]只用于人。使用范围比"脑袋"窄。用于书面语。例:(1)敢死队成员纷纷表示,愿为革命抛头颅(洒热血 lay down one’s life),洒鲜血(初中课本<中国历史>)(2)他赞美过明末的东林党反抗魏忠贤(1568―1627)的行为,曾写过一首诗说:"莫道书生空议论,头颅掷处血斑斑"。(样述,健比终存天地间>)(3)关帝庙洛阳十五里地,本是汉朝关羽头颅埋葬的地方。(李准<黄河东流去>)

  • I used pleco dictionary
    – Nephilim
    May 5, 2019 at 2:23

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