Chéngyǔ 成語 (Idiomatic Expressions)
(2,150 words)

Chéngyǔ 成語 (lit. composed words) represent a peculiar form of patterned idioms in Chinese, both in the written and the spoken language. The term chéngyǔ can be traced back at least to the Táng dynasty (BCE 618–907), conveying several ideas of “structured” or “elaborated” sentences. Later on,…

Cite this page
Erhard ROSNER, “Chéngyǔ 成語 (Idiomatic Expressions)”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 24 April 2017 <>
First published online: 2015

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