Introduction of Chinese idioms

Chinese idioms are one of the priceless legacies deeply rooted in traditional culture. They make the more powerful, more functional and more fascinating. Since each of the idioms is the precious fruit of repeating hammer-harden through history, they all bear extremely profound implications in them.

The list below contains all the Chinese idioms you will find in Chinese daily language. They have arranged alphabetically. Each idiom here consists of pronunciation, interpretation, source, sentence example and some of them with related flash attached for your better understanding. Have fun!

Divine Garments Without Seams 天衣无缝 (tiān yī wú fènɡ)

There was a man called Guo Han in the Tang Dynasty(618-907). One summer night, when the moon was very bright he suddenly saw a girl descending slowly from the sky.  He observed the girl closely and found that the dress she was wearing was seamless.He was puzzled and asked why. The girl answered,”Heavenly clothes are not sewn with needle and thread.”

This idiom is a metaphor for doing things perfectly. It can also be used to indicate a perfectly written poem or another literary article.

Playing the Lute to a Cow 对牛弹琴 (duì niú tán qín)

In ancient times there was a man who played the zither very well.Once, he played a tune in front of a cow, hoping that the cow would appreciate it.The tune was melodious,but the cow showed no reaction, and just kept on eating grass.The man sighed and went away.

This idiom is used to indicate reasoning with stubborn people or talking to the wrong audience.

Chinese idioms
Chinese idioms

Sitting by a Stump, Waiting for a Careless Hare 守株待兔 (shǒu zhū dài tù)

During the Warring States Period, there was a farmer of the State of Song.There was a tree in his farmland. One day, he saw a hare run into the tree and die soon after breaking its neck.However, no more have turned up as he had expected, and he became the laughing stock of others.

This story comes from”The Five Vermin” in The Works of Han Feizi. Later generations often use the set phrase”Sitting by a Stump, Waiting for a Careless Hare” to show trusting to chance and windfalls or dreaming to reap without sowing. It is also used to indicate inflexible work and no flexibility.

Chinese idioms
Chinese idioms

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