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The idiom 降维攻击 is quite popular in Chinese chatting rooms.

Interestingly, it's used almost in any context. What's the origin and meaning of it?

  • I've never heard of it. Doesn't sound like an idiom to me. – Tang Ho Dec 18 '17 at 7:17
  • 降维dimensionality reduction, search web:baike.baidu.com/item/%E9%99%8D%E7%BB%B4%E6%94%BB%E5%87%BB/… 降维攻击 (科幻名词) – user6065 Dec 18 '17 at 7:23
  • So, It is a term from a sci-fi fiction-- 如果说你降维攻击,就是在说你以一种低级,违背正常文明的方式打击别人 – Tang Ho Dec 18 '17 at 7:24
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    re answer: other users have already searched the Internet, comment #2's link already mentions 刘慈欣's novel 《三体Ⅲ·死神永生》Death's End (Wikipedia: the third novel in the trilogy titled Remembrance of Earth's Past, following the Hugo Award-winning novel The Three-Body Problem 三体) 降维攻击 refers to 从三维降至二维的攻击由二向箔触发( for 向箔触发 again see baidu) – user6065 Dec 18 '17 at 10:11
  • @user6065 二向箔 is one word. – NS.X. Dec 19 '17 at 8:53
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降维攻击 or 降维打击 is from 刘慈欣 (Liu Cixin)'s famous sci-fi novel 三体 (The Three-Body Problem).

It means that an advanced civilization uses a dimension reduction weapon 二向箔 to destroy a low-grade civilization by crushing their stellar system into a 2D plane.

If someone is not familiar with young netizen's culture or fashion, he won't know this idiom.

As you mentioned, this so called idiom can derive to any meaning and apply to any context, it doesn't need to express an exact meaning. Instead, it can express any relative meaning depending on its context. If we talk about this idiom, we should first talk about not only its context, but also its users.

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  • It's not so versatile like that. Please consider an answer which explains the real meaning of this expression. – Aurus Huang Jul 10 '18 at 3:23
  • @AurusHuang I believe currently there's no "real" meaning, even the one explained in 百度百科 is far different from the original meaning. Especially for those who haven't read the novel, their use of the phrase is only based on their understanding of "降维", which often confuses the Three Body fans. – Stan Jul 10 '18 at 12:45
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I've never heard anyone around me using this high-end idiom...
So I searched the Internet, and found the idiom coming from Liu Cixin's renowned sci-fi novel The Three Body Problem.
The original explanation is not easy to understand, so people just use its derived meaning: "attacking others in a 'vulgar/despicable' way".

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  • People do use it like that. The Three Body fanboys are probably getting mad about it. – Wang Dingwei Dec 20 '17 at 2:08
  • If you read a bit 知乎 you will probably see it. 知乎 users like 三体梗 a lot. – River Aug 12 at 2:03
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降 - 下降 - lower v.

维 - 维度 - literally means dimension n. - more precisely means level n.

攻击 - attack v./n.

降维攻击 - lower-levelled attack

Please be aware that it's a highly informal expression, to some extent a man-made expression by contemporary people, to express sb is much more powerful than others.

For example, professional football team vs amateur football team

Honestly speaking, I don't think this kind of expression worth spending much time learning. They're sort of amusement making you sound interesting, however, unlikely to be used in an appropriate situation when the popularity cools down after a period of time.

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it means an irresistible and indescribable attack,generally used when people fail with no surprise because there is a big difference between the two sides’ might.

for example:

竞争最可怕的杀着是:降维打击;最可怕的问题是:自己被降维打击

降维打击的意思是站在比你高一个维度的层次,用低维度世界无法想象的武器攻击你,降维打击在很多情况下,不是高维度有意去攻击低纬度,只是一个不小心就把低维度的世界给毁灭了。

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