功虧一簣

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Mandarin[edit]

simpl. 功亏一篑
trad.

Etymology[edit]

Literally: to be one basket (of dirt) short of success (in one's attempt to build a nine ren high mound)

From the longer phrase (first part is usually omitted): 功虧一簣

Pronunciation[edit]

Mandarin (Standard Chinese, Beijing)
Pinyin gōngkuīyīkuì [Phonetic: gōngkuīkuì]
Zhuyin ㄍㄨㄥ ㄎㄨㄟ ㄧ ㄎㄨㄟˋ
IPA (key) /kʊŋ⁵⁵ kʰu̯eɪ̯⁵⁵ i⁵⁵⁻³⁵ kʰu̯eɪ̯⁵¹/

Idiom[edit]

功虧一簣 (traditional, Pinyin gōng kuī yī kuì or gōng kuī yí kuì, simplified 功亏一篑)

  1. close but no cigar; close, but no cigar

Related terms[edit]