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强横实力

From zdic, 强横 means "brutal and unreasonable", which does make sense. However, at the end of the line, it also adds "describes a person like that".

But if it is used as a description for something like strength which isn't something that is living, how would it make sense then? I mean, how can "strength" be "unreasonable"?

If that doesn't work, would something like "overwhelmingly strong" work as well?

EDIT: Somewhat related, but does 強橫 always have a negative implication, similar to perhaps "savage" or "uncontrolled" rather than a neutral "strong"?

  • Put the sentence where the phrase is used. Strength cannot be unreasonable per se, but its application certainly can. – Pedroski Aug 15 '15 at 23:52
  • 强 = non-negotiable, brutal, oppressive. 横 = rude, unreasonable. It's metaphorical when used on inanimate concepts just like 'merciless' in English. – NS.X. Aug 16 '15 at 8:56
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zdic says 强横: 骄横跋扈;强硬蛮横。亦指这样的人.

亦指这样的人 is not very clear. I suspect what it means is that in addition to functioning as a modifier (brutal and unreasonable), 强横 can also function as a nominal by itself (a brutal and unreasonable person). It doesn't give an example of this, however.

强横 refers to a type of person, or perhaps actions or policies that people implement. I don't think it could refer to something inanimate, or even an animal.

zdic glosses 横 as 'unreasonable'. 横 refers to someone who goes straight ahead without following a road or path (reason or morality).

I also don't think 强 really means strong here; it is more like the 强 in 強盜 'robber'. The MOE 國語辭典 defines this sense of 强 as 橫暴.

In any case, 强横 is never going to be neutral, just like 霸道 or 講理 are not neutral. Someone who is 强横 is a bad guy.

  • "It doesn't give an example of this, however." it actually did, right on the zdic page:《四库全书总目·别集二三·怀麓堂集》:“ 东阳 如衰 周 弱 鲁 ,力不足御强横,……” – NS.X. Aug 16 '15 at 8:52
  • Oops. I see it now. Also in《后汉书·鲍永传》诛彊横而镇抚其餘 – wpt Aug 16 '15 at 9:17
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强横 as a noun referring to a brutal persion is an old Chinese expression. In modern Chinese, it often is used as a modifier.

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I didn't see it reasonable to put 强横 in front of 实力 (strength, power), for 强横 is nearly always used to describe a PERSON, not an inanimate thing. The examples used by NS.X. and wpt are all from ancient contexts, and this word is used as a noun, meaning "something that is strong and brutal". This usage is very common in thousands of years ago, not today.
In today's context, the following expression are used:
他很强横。(He is quite rude and unreasonable.)
Thus 强横 is only used to modify a person.
And, as you can see from the translation, 强横 is definitely negative, even more negative than its ancient meaning.

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