Japanese has the idiom 七转八起:

Basically if you fail 7 times, you should recover from those events and be prepared to rise an 8th time. This is also applies if it is the world or circumstances that knock you down seven times... just remember that you have the ability to bounce back from any kind of adversity.

I'm wondering if there's something similar in Chinese. The closest I've found thus far is

CC-CEDICT 人有失手,马有失蹄: lit. just as humans make mistakes, so can a horse stumble (idiom) / fig. everyone makes mistakes / even the best fall down sometimes

However, the sentiment is not quite the same.

Question: What's a chengyu with meaning similar to the Japanese 七転八起 (fall down seven times, get up eight)?

4 Answers 4


百折不挠 is a good one, here is another one:


語義說明 (explanation):

比喻勇往直前,不因挫折而懈怠。 (It is a metaphor for moving forward bravely and not slackening due to setbacks.)


another one:

A general described his army to his superior as 屡战屡败 (repeatedly fight and repeatedly lose); His assistant thought it is too unflattering to the army, so he changed it to 屡败屡战 (repeatedly lose but keep on fighting)

屡败屡战 = keep on fighting after countless defeat


百折不挠,百折不屈,百折不摧,百折不回: Even failed hundreds of times, you never give up.

矢志不移 An unwavering will is like an arrow, if you shoot it, there will be no turning back.


Based on the explanation of “七转八起” (in Japanese) - "跌倒七次,第八次也要站起来(不管失败多少次也不灰心,每次失败再站起来继续努力。), the Chinese equivalent should be:

  • 屢敗屢戰, 屢敗不馁, also 百折不挠, - "continue fighting, every time and again, not giving up after defeat".


Wiktionary has a Chinese page for 七転八起, which defines the word as:


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.