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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a certain kind of Chinese set phrase originating in Classical Chinese, typically four or five characters in length


From Mandarin 成語 (simplified: 成语) (chéngyǔ). (Wiktionary)


  • China's many chengyu, or idiomatic phrases derived from traditional fables and classical texts, present a high hurdle for learners.

    The Foreign Devil's Dictionary

  • Some experts put the number of chengyu expressions at 5,000, though others settle for no fewer than 20,000.

    The Foreign Devil's Dictionary

  • McDonald's website, hosted by Professor Ronald, offers "Happy Courses" for multiplication and "chengyu fun" i.e., classical four-character classical Chinese phrases, the usage of which, even today, is a sign of a keen mind.

    The Full Feed from


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