I understand them both as wave, but I'm not sure if there's a difference in nuance.

1 Answer 1


파도 is the big wave you see in the sea (or some very large lakes, but Korea doesn't have any such lakes). 물결 is small waves you can see anywhere (say, a pond, river, or even your bathtub).

See this example describing the Five Great Lakes of the US:

호수라고 부르고 있지만 워낙 커서 사진으로 보거나 실제로 가 보면 수평선이 펼쳐져 있고 파도도 치는 모습이라 그냥 보면 바다처럼 보인다.

Also note that "wave" in physics is called 파동.

  • Great example sentence!
    – vievievie
    Dec 11, 2016 at 21:45

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