I've read that phrase in a lot of stories and in a lot of different form; could you tell me the official form of that phrase (or maybe idiom) and its meaning?

2 Answers 2


The common word is 掌握 (hold in one's palm) meaning " have possession and control of something"


掌握軍國大權 (hold control of the government and the armed force)

掌握有力證據 (holding/ have possession of powerful evidence)

There's also an idiom 玩弄於股掌之上 (to toy with someone on one's thighs and palms)- meaning: " play someone like a fiddle"

Another idiom mentioned "in the palm" is "掌上明珠" (pearl in one's palm). It means " treasured daughter"

  • what about phrase/idiom 'like a treasure in one's palm' or something similar?
    – Fai91
    Aug 5, 2017 at 5:15
  • Please see edition.
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 5, 2017 at 5:47

it is a setence of a poem wrote by William Blake.the whole poem is: To see a world in a grain of sand. And a heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand .And eternity in an hour.

its chinese translation is 在一颗沙粒中见一个世界, 在一朵鲜花中见一片天空, 在你的掌心里把握无限, 在一个钟点里把握无穷。

  • OP wrote: "I've read that phrase in a lot of stories and in a lot of different form..." -- I am sure he wanted to know the general meaning of " holding in the palm of hands" in Chinese. The same phrase appears in a poem is immaterial to the question.
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 5, 2017 at 11:23
  • By the way, "Hold infinity in the palm of your hand" can be translated as "把无限掌握在手中"
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 5, 2017 at 11:31
  • @TangHo I just cited it from an book which an professional person translated it
    – J.Wang
    Aug 5, 2017 at 11:33
  • Different professional translate differently. My translation is no less accurate than the one you cited. To be honest, We can often find poorly translated materials made it to the publications.
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 5, 2017 at 11:39
  • For example: "wild flower" should be translated as 野花; " eternity" should be translated as 永恒, This professional translator's work is quite sloppy if you ask me.
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 5, 2017 at 11:53

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