大意失荊州

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Chinese[edit]

careless; negligent to lose; to miss; to fail Jingzhou City
trad. (大意失荊州) 大意 荊州
simp. (大意失荆州) 大意 荆州

Etymology[edit]

Literally: carelessness lost Jingzhou

From the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Guan Yu had been assigned to defend Jingzhou. In a temporary lapse of judgement, he decided to go on the attack against Cao Cao. In doing so, he unwittingly gave Sun Quan an opportunity to attack Jingzhou. Guan Yu was captured, and later executed.

Pronunciation[edit]

Idiom[edit]

大意失荊州

  1. to have a temporary lapse in judgement that results in a major defeat; make a bad call and lose the farm
    我們絕對不能輕敵大意失荊州 [MSC, trad.]
    我们绝对不能轻敌大意失荆州 [MSC, simp.]
    Wǒmen juéduì bùnéng yīn qīngdí ér dàyìshījīngzhōu. [Pinyin]
    We absolutely must not regard the enemy too lightly, and thereby make a bad call and lose the farm.