What does 神功 shén gōng mean? Most chinese dictionaries say it means miracle; remarkable feat but is that really it? This term is mentioned in a cultivation novel, so I want to know.

  • 1
    Could you add a bit context(where you have seen it)?
    – dan
    Oct 31, 2019 at 4:25
  • 她们修炼的都是紫霞神功,武技为云步,乱云九式,和飘云十八式。I’ve read somewhere it means footwork, not sure need some clarification.
    – Sam
    Oct 31, 2019 at 4:36
  • 1
    神功 can be taken as 神妙的武功. 神妙: wonderful; marvellous; ingenious; 武功: martial technique. 紫霞神功 is a very famous martial technique created by the famous novelist 金庸 in his novel.
    – dan
    Oct 31, 2019 at 4:46
  • it is just a variant of magic. Nov 7, 2019 at 9:20

2 Answers 2


there's no such word in English, and it's old word only show on traditional novel

神 god, 功 maybe you may seem as kind of Konfu(功夫)

in old novel, a very mighty Konfu only few people can master it, maybe you can name it as XX神功

just a kidding, if someone is good at cheating, maybe he will tell you "I'll show you my "cheating"神功 on tomorrow exam"

or for Thor, you can name his skill as hammer神功 or lightning神功

  • Thanks for the replies everyone!
    – Sam
    Oct 31, 2019 at 4:59

神功 translated as "miracle; remarkable feat" is a mistake. The editor just confused 神功 with 神工, as in "鬼斧神工"

"鬼斧神工" (ghost's axe; god's skill) = out-of-worldly skill/ feat

功 in 神功 is referring to "功夫" (kung fu) or "功法" (method/ skill)

神功 literally means "god's method/ skill".

For example: "鐵頭功" simply means "iron head kung fu". To elevate this martial art method, people could add 神 (god like) to its name and call it 鐵頭神功 (it is not just a kung fu of iron head, it is a godly kung fu of iron head! )

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.