Chinese Idiom Dictionaries

What is an Idiom? An idiom is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., raining cats and dogs, see the light).  Idioms are also commonly called Chinese Proverbs. Several of the resources below are “Chengyu” Dictionaries. What is a Chengyu? An idiom consisting of 4 characters.  It is sometimes called a “four-character idiom.”

This page has 2 sections, here are jump links, and a tally of resources:

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Provides English

Chinese Converter

IN CHINESE

Chinese Converter’s Chengyu Dictionary allows you to look up Chengyu’s even if you do not know all the characters.

You can search for the full Chengyu, or by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th character.

Once your Chengyu is found, it will render the pinyin and give you an explanation of the idiom, albeit in Chinese.

If you are a beginner, just copy and paste the Chinese explanation into LingoCloud’s online translatorand your all set.

Chinese Tools

Chinese Tools’ Chengyu Dictionary has more than 30,000 entries!

Once your Chengyu is found, it will render the pinyin and give you an English translation.

It provides additional information in Chinese, including:

  • the meaning of the idiom
  • its use in context, an example
  • synonyms
  • antonyms and 
  • grammar usage.

If you are a beginner, just copy and paste the Chinese into LingoCloud’s online translatorand your all set.

As a Chinese learner you are probably familiar with the MDGB online Chinese to English dictionary, and that you can search for individual idioms.

Did you know this? If you put the word “idiom” in the search box, the number of idioms you can learn is virtually endless.

Click the link above, we already searched “idiom” for you. 🙂

Want to search the Chengyu’s in MDGB’s database?  Check out Standard Mandarin’s Chengyu Dictionary also available on this page.  It is based on MDGB’s data.

Standard Mandarin

This Chengyu dictionary is based on the data contained in MDGB’s database.

The search box accepts Chinese, pinyin and English!

Once your Chengyu is found, it will render the pinyin, the English translation of the idiom itself (sometimes there are multiple English translations), and a word by word translation of each individual character. 

Chinese Only

Offline Idiom Dictionary

andriod app

This collection contains over 49,000 Chinese Idioms.

Chinese text only. 

Offline Idiom Dictionary

andriod app

This collection contains over 30,000 Chinese Idioms.

Chinese text only. 

Taiwan Min of Ed

Admittedly, I have not used this tool at any length.  However, I do not recommend this resource for beginners.

Although, there is a “English” version of their home page, linked above, the search results are in Chinese only.  

Both pinyin and zhuyin and provided with search results.

Here is a link to a page in which the Ministry of Education explains the features of this dictionary in English. 

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