ABC Chinese–English Comprehensive Dictionary (2003). I can't access the "slightly revised through July 2005" ed. p 278. Zdic.net annunciates the same meanings.

enter image description here

Doubtless, "perfunctory" is the polar opposite of "expound". So how can 敷衍 signify both 'perfunctory' and 'expound'?

  • 敷衍->expound,我这辈子都没见过这种用法。
    – Zhang
    Sep 18, 2020 at 2:13
  • Zhang is right. Must be a literature big shot used it in his famous work. Editors had no choice but to include it in dictionary, like Thomas Hardy's case. So, just neglect it. So many other terms for "expound", why choose this one? 尽信书不如无书。 Of course now is 尽信网不如无网。 Even Teacher G often mislead people. Sep 18, 2020 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


敷演 is an ancient expression while 敷衍 is still in use. They are different words.

I am not sure why 演 in 敷演 can be replaced by 衍.


Your Answer

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