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From researching about the word 水気 in Jisho, I found that it has two different readings: すいき and みずけ. Unfortunately, the information on the site did not really help me in differentiating on what the proper reading was. The only noticeable difference that I could observe was that すいき has a greater variety of possible meanings than みずけ.

With this in mind, I would just like to know what exactly are the other differences between the two? Also, what is the more common reading, and what are the scenarios wherein one reading is preferred over the other?

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In modern casual exchanges, 水気 is almost always read みずけ, and I would say you can practically forget すいき. みずけ is a fairly common word, but people probably don't understand you if you said すいき in conversations.

That being said, すいき was not rare at least in old novels. According to ふりがな文庫 (a corpus based on furigana in public-domain old novels), both すいき and みずけ were actively used. They seem mostly interchangeable to me, but すいき sometimes also meant "humid/fog-like air" rather than "humidity", in which case すいき is not interchangeable with みずけ. There should be some modern novelists who actively use すいき, but I would say there is no good reason to use すいき unless you're writing some stiff literary works.

  • すいき has one important meaning "vapor, mist" which みずけ doesn't cover. – broccoli forest Aug 14 at 9:38

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