2

ABC Chinese–English Comprehensive Dictionary (2003), p 1164.

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In 一貧如洗, what mean

  1. 一? One what? Or is this subject pronoun "one" in English?

  2. 洗? How pennilessness or poverty relate to 洗?

3
  • 3
    After you taken a shower, at that moment, you're naked and you have nothing. So 如洗 means "like you're been washed/flooded, and you have nothing left". Sep 5 '20 at 5:53
  • 1
    @LiuYan刘研 OK. Strange way to think of poverty, but your comment make sense.
    – NNOX Apps
    Sep 5 '20 at 8:27
  • Here is a reference I found for 劉研's comment from education department in Taiwan: idiom.wlps.kl.edu.tw/dict_idioms/4384.html Sep 9 '20 at 5:11
1

means being washed or flushed thus becoming clean or bare.

could mean "whole/wholly", "full/fully", or "all" similar to that in 坐了满满一车人.

I copied this from Google's Dictionary, which uses information from Oxford Dictionaries.

一 /yī/

1.
数词
数字,最小的正整数。
2.
数词
指同一或一样。
 「咱们坐 一趟车」
3.
数词
指满、全或整个。
 「坐了满满 一车人」
4.
数词
指专一或单一。
 「一心 一意」
5.
数词
指某一。
 「一天晚上」
6.
数词
指每一。
 「一组八个人」
7.
数词
指另一或又一。
 「乌贼 一名墨斗鱼」
8.
副词
表示猛然发出某种动作或突然出现某种情况。
 「往起 一站」
9.
副词
与「就」「便」等副词相呼应,表示前一动作或情况一旦发生,紧跟着就要出现另一动作或情况。
 「一叫就来」
10.
副词
用在重叠的动词之间,表示动作是短暂的或尝试性的。
 「跳 一跳」

一 /yī/ 名词

我国民族音乐中传统的记音符号,表示音阶上的一级,相当于简谱的「 ₇̣」。
1

一 literally "one", can also mean "completely" 一貧如洗: literal translation is "completely poor as if [everything were] washed away."

1

In this phrase, means all or completely, and is an analogy. The state of poverty is compared to washing, so you have the vision of money being washed away, which is very vivid.

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