In a version of the Dao De Jing that I found on Gutenberg.org, this character appears: 繟. I've done multiple searches of the web and of several dictionaries online, but wasn't able to find a translation.

Here is the chapter that contains the character:



Does anybody know its meaning? According to MDBG.net, the reading of it is: chǎn, but no definition was provided: http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php?page=worddict&wdrst=1&wdqb=繟 (click the character to expand the information on it)

Your help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  • 繟 chǎn (1) 宽绰, 舒缓 [generous] (2) 又如: 繟然(坦然, 宽舒的样子) more at bkrs
    – user6065
    Jul 18, 2016 at 1:06
  • Thank you! If you submit it as an answer, I'll accept it. :)
    – Aces
    Jul 18, 2016 at 1:11
  • also try C-C dictionaries:zdic:1. 宽松的丝带。  2. 舒缓;坦然。etc.
    – user6065
    Jul 18, 2016 at 1:51

2 Answers 2


have a look of the 國語辭典:


then, 唐玄宗御製道德真經疏:

enter image description here

enter image description here


This word means 坦然 in modern chinese. In fact I can't find a right English word to express the meaning. The meaning of sentence is, natural has its own rule.It didn't fight, but it will be the winner. It didn't say anything, but evernthing in the world will answer it. It didn't call anyone, but there are so many animals in the world. So, we just take it easy, just get our own plans, just do what we should do, calmly and indifferently, and the natural will help us to finish everything well.

  • It sounds like you're describing the Daoist concept of 無為 -- acting naturally, in an uncontrived fashion, allowing things to run their course. As mentioned in the Dao De Jing, where I found the character 繟, when one acts with 無為, things naturally turn out for the best.
    – Aces
    Jul 18, 2016 at 10:18
  • Quite similar. The philosophy in the Daoist was quite complicated. In my understanding, the word 繟 is more similar to the word 坦然 in mordern Chinese. Jul 20, 2016 at 1:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.