功虧一簣

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Chinese[edit]

 
merit; achievement; result; service; accomplishment
deficiency; deficit
 
one; 1; single; a; (before verbs) as soon as, once; (before a noun) entire (family, etc.)
basket for carrying soil
trad. (功虧一簣)
simp. (功亏一篑)

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]


Idiom[edit]

功虧一簣

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

Related terms[edit]