dīshuǐ 滴水



  • dishui (Pinyin without tones)
  • 滴水 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 滴水 (Simplified Chinese)
  • dīshuǐ (Pinyin)
  • ti-shui (Wade-Giles)


    The term dishui 滴水 (“dripping water”) as an architectural term is first found in Ming dynasty literature (Zhuo 1580, 5.9a). The texts explain that dishui are located at the end of the eaves and that the end of the tile “hangs down,” but there is no description of the specific shape. Recent research and existing examples indicate that the term dishui can be understood in both a narrow and a broad sense. When modern scholars define dishui, they are usually referring specifically to the plate tile with a “ruyi”-shape 如意形 descending from the lowest end of the gutter tiles, especially in the context of Qing architecture. Thus, dishui can be used to distinguish Qing style buildings from Song style buildings, the latter of which more commonly employed “multi-lipped plate tiles” (chongchun banwa 重唇瓪瓦)," as described in the the Song dynasty Yingzao fashi (Liang 1982, 85; Yao 1986, 111; Pan and He 2005, 157). 1

    More generally, dishui can be used to refer to any eaves gutter tile with an end that hangs down. The shape includes (but is not limited to) ruyi-shape, multi-lip-shaped (chongchun xing 重唇形), and floral border shaped (huabian xing 花邊形). In this broad understanding of dishui, the term refers to any gutter tile serving the function of protecting the eaves from water damage (Liang 1981, 36, Liu 1935; 2007, 163-226; Qi 1965).2

    作為建築術語的“滴水”最早見於明代文獻(卓 1580, 5.9a),根據古代文獻可知“滴水”位於簷端,瓦的端部下垂,但未見對具體形態的描述。從學者的研究和現存實例來看,“滴水”可以作狹義與廣義兩種理解:當學者定義滴水時,往往特指隴溝最下端有如意形舌片下垂之瓪瓦,這種狹義理解的滴水也常用於宋清相對照的語境下,以區別于宋代《營造法式》中的“重唇瓪瓦” (梁 1981:85;姚 1986:111;潘和何 2005:157.);而學者在描述建築物屋面瓦件時,常使用“滴水”來泛指位於隴溝最下端,且瓦端下垂的瓪瓦,其形態包括但不限於如意形、重唇形、花邊形(梁 1981:36;劉 1935;2007:163-226;祁 1965),這是“滴水”的廣義理解。 1,, 2

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 卓. 1580. 卓氏藻林, 5.9a.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 梁. 1981. 清式營造則例, 85.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 姚. 1986. 营造法原, 111.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 潘. 2005. 《营造法式》解读, 157.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 梁. 1981. 清式營造則例, 36.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 劉. 1935. 圖書介紹, 165-166.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; , 163-226.; 祁. 1965. 中國古代建築年代的鑒定, 14-30, 33.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 劉. 2015. 中國古建築瓦石營法, 168.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: roofing tiles

How to Cite This Entry

JIA Tingli 贾亭立 et al., “ 滴水 dīshuǐ” in Architectura Sinica last modified May 31, 2023, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000241.


JIA Tingli 贾亭立 et al., “ 滴水 dīshuǐ.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published July 1, 2022. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000241.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 滴水 dīshuǐ

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • JIA Tingli 贾亭立 and DOU Keqin 窦可親, entry contributors, “ 滴水 dīshuǐ

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Preliminary research and revision by DOU Keqin 窦可親
  • Entry of revised data and links by LI Zhixian 李知賢

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