I'm looking for an idiom that describes feeling better after getting closure/some explanation/clarity on a certain issue... whether breaking up with significant other and having a final face-to-face... getting explanation on death of a loved one.. etc.

Any thoughts?

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    松了口气 or 如释重负 or 解脱了
    – user58955
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 3:13

4 Answers 4


松了口气=(literally) to get my lung exhausted=to finally relax

如释重负=(literally) just like having uninstalled a heavy burden=to finally relax

Other expressions include

拨开云雾见太阳=拨云见日(short form)=(literally) to wipe away clouds and fog to see the sun=to feel happy after a catastrophe (metaphor or literally)


I got 恍然大悟/善始善终/松了口气/释然/如释重负/大彻大悟/冰释前嫌/释然放怀,无复蔕芥/尘埃落定 etc. in mind. But they don't mean the same.

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    Could you please provide short definitions, or at least what the differences are between the terms? Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 1:32
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    "But they don't mean the same." How do they differ? This answer would be a lot more helpful if you could provide some insight into their differences. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 3:44
  • I wish you have 现代汉语大词典 or 新华书店的成语词典, you 'll learn more if you do the research by yourselves. If you do it online, for example zdic.net/c/2/79/125715.htm, this is the explanation of 如释重负, however I suggest use the standard books mentioned, online website is not reliable if you wish learn it seriously. Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 0:26

恍然大悟 <= you understood something finally

善始善终 <= you have a good start and a good end of a non-trivial task

松了口气 <= relief

释然 <= .... um .... also relief .... but written in a literal manner

如释重负 <= get rid of some heavy responsibilities

大彻大悟 <= understood some great big ideas, changing your attitude/thought/life in a good way

冰释前嫌 <= settled a serious misunderstanding or even quarrel


The phrase 了结一桩心事 is quite nice here

了结 can be used to mean closure, like mentioned in the question ("getting explanation on death of a loved one.. etc.").

Oxford && A Chinese-English Dictionary both define it as:


take a load off one's mind

a quick baidu search turns up some example usage:

  • 退个党真麻烦,不过总算了结一桩心事。
  • 了结一桩心事,转眼看见另一桩心事。
  • 订单填完,了结一桩心事。

If you really want to emphasize, feeling good after getting some, closure this is not a bad way of doing it.

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