Some examples of 莫逮 found in Classical texts:


《南齐书·周盘龙传》 形甚羸訥, 而臨軍勇果, 諸將莫逮。


《荀子·尧问》 楚莊王 謀事而當羣臣莫逮, 退朝而有憂色。

I'm assuming here is of the whole 没、不,勿 nature.

as a classical text can only be dài (or dì) but definitely not dǎi.

If we go with dài we have:

Gu Hanyu Da Cidian



Students Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese

1 come to, reach a point in place or time; extend to, up to.

a measure up (to standard), be equally matched; catch up to

b when, by the time of; until; keep on till.

2 nab, seize; apprehend, arrest; attain, acquire, obtain.

a seize the moment for, catch the chance of; take advantage of.

If we go with the (very unlikely) pronunciation of dì then it would mean something like

Gu Hanyu Da Cidian


莫 has a ton of other meanings.

逮 has other meanings, not mentioned here, aswell.

What's the best way to interpret 莫逮 in these classical texts?

What's the best translation?

  • 4
    莫=不, 逮=及, so 莫逮=不及 (cannot reach that level). I'm not kidding XD
    – Stan
    Dec 26, 2014 at 7:31
  • @Stan why don't you write up an answer...?
    – Mou某
    Dec 26, 2014 at 10:33
  • Because I don't have a dictionary for classical texts at hand, I'm not sure if it has other meanings, besides, I don't quite like writing single-line answers :)
    – Stan
    Dec 27, 2014 at 1:37

1 Answer 1


昔伯牙絕絃於鍾期,仲尼覆醢于子路,痛知音之難遇,傷門人之莫逮也。 Means a person lost his(her) bosom friend, he (she) is so sad, and not one can acquaintance him(her) like the past friend.So the 莫逮 here is can not be comparable to something(someone), 莫 means can not, 逮 means can be comparable to something(someone).

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