如虎添翼 – Like adding wings to a tiger

What is it? The chengyu 如虎添翼 (rú hǔ tiān yì) breaks down into the words: like (如Rú) tiger (虎hǔ) add (添tiān) wings (翼yì). This translates nicely to “like adding wings to a tiger” in English.

Now, what does it mean to add wings to a tiger? As you can tell from other chengyus, the tiger always refers to something great and powerful. Therefore, adding wings to a tiger, means taking something that was already powerful, like a tiger, and make it even more so. This can be applied as adding force to something or someone that is already very powerful.

In modern times, this could be used by a company, say a car company, that brings a new technological innovation to an already stellar car. In the car companies eyes, this is akin to adding wings to a Tiger.

For sports fans, this could be adding an all star level player to an already great team. E.g. when the Miami Heat not only had Dwayne Wade, but also got Lebron James, and Chris Bosh.

 

Vocabulary

Chines Pinyin English
like
tiger
tiān To add
wings

 

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