Chinese Symbols, Phrases, and Poems for Beauty

Chinese Symbols for Beauty:

  • Beauty: 美丽

  • Beautiful People: 美人

  • Gorgeous: 漂亮 

  • Handsome: 帅气

  • Attractive and Charming: 迷人

  • Cute: 可爱

 

 

Chinese Phrases about Beauty to Describe Women:

  • 国色天香: (Peony is) the beauty of nation and fragrance of heaven, now used to describe gorgeous women. 

  • 倾国倾城: Stunning beauty overthrew cities and countries.

  • 亭亭玉立: Elegant and slender beauty. 

  • 明眸皓齿: Bright eyes and beautiful teeth, representing gorgeous women. 

  • 冰肌玉骨: Skin smooth like ice and jade.

  • 窈窕淑女: Virtuous, graceful, and beautiful lady.

  • 天生丽质: Natural stunning beauty.

  • 秀色可餐: One's gorgeousness can make others forget hunger, like a dish.

  • 花容月貌: Beautiful as flowers and moon.

  • 绝代风华: Outstanding talent, grace, and manner.

  • 风姿绰约: Graceful and attractive figure.

  • 沉鱼落雁, 闭月羞花: (One's beauty would make) fishes sink, wild geese fall, moon hide, and flowers shy and blush.

 

They are used to describe Four Beauties in Chinese history: Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun, Diao Chan, and Lady Yang.

Wang Zhaojun or Wang Qiang of the Han Dynasty

Wang Zhaojun or Wang Qiang (about 54 BC — 19 BC),  Awarded as Princess by Emperor Yuan of Han, for Peace-Making Marriage with Lord of Xiongnu.

Chinese Phrases about Beauty to Describe Men:

  • 玉树临风: Tall, elegant, and dashing.

  • 温文尔雅: Gentle, refined, and cultured. 

  • 淑人君子: Benign and upright gentleman.

  • 义薄云天: Soaring righteousness and chivalrousness.  

  • 堂堂正正: Strong, honorable, and righteous.  

  • 风流倜傥: Talented, dashing, handsome, and unrestrained. 

  • 风度翩翩: Graceful manner and decent qualities. 

  • 美如冠玉: Beautiful as jade.

  • 仪表堂堂: Handsome, elegant, and dignified. 

  • 一表人才: Outstanding appearance and manner.

  • 高大威猛: Tall, strong, and mighty.

  • 英俊潇洒: Handsome and dashing. 

  • 气宇轩昂: Distinguished and graceful. 

  • 才貌双全: Talented and beautiful, now can be used to describe both men and women.

  • 温润如玉: Gentle, warm, and bright like jade.

Jade Made Hat Decoration of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 — 1368)

Jade Made Hat Decoration of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 — 1368) — National Museum of China (Photo by Dongmaiying)

Chinese Poems about Beauty to Describe Women:

  • 巧笑倩兮,美目盼兮。The Classic of Poetry, or The Book of Songs, or Shijing, compiled by Confucius (551 BC — 479 BC).

 

Beautiful lips are smiling, gorgeous eyes are sending radiant charm.

 

  • 云想衣裳花相容,春风拂槛露华浓。Li Bai (701 — 762)

 

(Lady Yang) looks as beautiful as flowers and her dresses fancy as clouds, like revealed gorgeous peonies with crystal dew when spring breezes the railing. 

 

  • 回眸一笑百媚生,六宫粉黛无颜色。Bai Juyi (772 — 846)

 

(Lady Yang) turns around and smiles, her stunning beauty eclipses all beautiful women in the royal palace.

Lady Yang, Yang Gui Fei or Yang Yu Huan of Tang Dynasty in history of China

Lady Yang (719 — 756), Beloved Imperial Concubine of Emperor Li Longji

  • 翩若惊鸿,婉若游龙,荣曜秋菊,华茂春松。Cao Zhi (192 — 232)

 

Graceful as flying swan goose, soft as dragon Jiaolong, radiant as blooming chrysanthemum, and flourishing as pines. 

Mostly used to describe a woman's beautiful face, graceful figure, and elegant manner. 

 

  • 清水出芙蓉,天然去雕饰。Li Bai (701 — 762)

Lotus grow out of clear water, whose natural beauty triumphs any embellishments. 

  • 秀色掩今古,荷花羞玉颜。Li Bai (701 — 762)

 

Charm (of Xi Shi) has been eulogized throughout history, lotus would shy and blush to see her beauty. 

Xi Shi or Shi Yiguang

Xi Shi or Shi Yiguang (about 503 BC — ?), one of the Four Beauties in Chinese history.

  • 俏丽若三春之桃,清素若九秋之菊。Cao Xueqin (1715 — 1763)

Gorgeous as peach blossoms of spring, elegant as chrysanthemums of autumn.

 

  • 一顾倾人城,再顾倾人国。Li Yannian

 

At her first glance, soldiers would lose their town; at her second, a monarch would his crown. (Translated by Xu Yuanchong)

 

It was written by musician Li Yannian to describe his little sister Lady Li, who later become one of the most favorite women of Emperor Wudi of Han (156 BC — 87 BC). 

Emperor Wudi Liu Che of Han Dynasty

Emperor Wudi of Han

Chinese Poems about Beauty to Describe Men:

 

  • 骑马倚斜桥,满楼红袖招。Wei Zhuang (about 836 — 910)

Riding on a horse leaning on a bridge, all nearby women are attracted and started to wave.

 

  • 秋水为神玉为骨。Du Fu (712 — 770)

Eyes are bright and bones are strong and elegant like jade; used to describe man's good look and graceful figure. 

 

  • 亦狂亦侠亦温文。Gong Zizhen (1792 — 1841)

 

Wild, dashing, chivalrous, soft, and gentle.

  • 有匪君子,如切如磋,如琢如磨。 The Classic of Poetry, or The Book of Songs, or Shijing, compiled by Confucius (551 BC  — 479 BC).

 

The elegant gentleman who purifies virtue and refines scholarship constantly, like well-carved jade articles.

Jade Decoration Yuan of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC — 256 BC) — Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Jade Decoration Yuan of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC — 256 BC) — Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Photo by Dongmaiying)