沉魚落雁

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Mandarin[edit]

simpl.
trad.

Etymology[edit]

From Zhuangzi ("Discussion on Making All Things Equal"):

Mao Qiang and Li Ji [two beautiful courtesans] are what people consider beautiful, but if fish see them they will swim into the depths; if birds see them, they will fly away into the air; if deer see them, they will gallop away. Among these four, who knows what is rightly beautiful in the world?

Idiom[edit]

沉魚落雁 (traditional, Pinyin chén yú luò yàn, simplified 沉鱼落雁)

  1. (said of women) extremely beautiful; drop-dead gorgeous