Which monolingual dictionary for chengyus?


I am looking at the Duogongneng Chengyu Cidian but have two questions:
  1. Which print edition is the dictionary based on?
  2. I am trying to transition towards using monolingual dictionaries for extra "immersion". So far, I am really pleased with the Guifan dictionary, although it seems to be missing some chengyus. Is the duogongneng chengy cidian a good choice to fill in these gaps? I'm wondering how it compares to the Xiandai Handy Dacidian in terms of number of chengyus and level of detail. Any thoughts?


Staff member
1. It's the Sinolingua one with the yellow cover, ISBN 9787802007321.

2. It's certainly more detailed but it isn't enormously comprehensive - we haven't yet found a Chengyu Cidian that's both detailed and comprehensive and we chose to focus on the former since with the latter there's less benefit over a comprehensive regular dictionary.


The level of detail of the duogongneng (DGN) is quite a bit beyond the guifan (GF), which can be useful for tricky chengyus. For example, the DGN often highlights classical character meanings, or classical grammar, which helps understand concepts behind how chengyus are formed and is a good help for memorization. (We all know these cases where we wonder “how does this character soup have meaning X???”)

GF in comparison usually just gives the meaning in more colloquial language. It doesn’t really explain the individual components which makes memorization harder.

The number of chengyus seems similar in both so far. Most common ones are included in either, but you’ll also run into ones that are only in one or the other, or sometimes in neither. (Sounds like the Guifan has more, based on Mike's comments, but subjectively I don't find the gap too big.)
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