The Tiger's Watchful Gaze-虎视眈眈 (hǔ shì dān dān)

Friday, October 13, 2023

In Chinese culture, there is an idiom called "虎视眈眈" (hǔ shì dān dān), which describes a state of vigilance and alertness, much like a tiger ready to pounce at any moment. This idiom teaches us to remain vigilant and cautious when facing potential threats or competition.

The Story

The story takes place in an ancient forest inhabited by various wild animals. In this forest, there was a clever old fox named Ah Fox. Ah Fox lived a content life, but he understood the rules of the forest, and he knew better than to let his guard down. One day, Ah Fox noticed a young and powerful tiger named Tiger King silently encroaching on his territory. Although Tiger King didn't launch an immediate attack, his gaze was "虎视眈眈" (hǔ shì dān dān) locked onto Ah Fox. Ah Fox understood that Tiger King might strike at any moment, so he remained highly alert. Ah Fox began searching for a solution to this problem. He collaborated with other forest residents, jointly devising a plan to deter the threat posed by Tiger King. Eventually, they successfully defended their territory, and Tiger King was forced to leave. Ah Fox realized that to 生存shēng cún) survive in the wild, one must always maintain a "虎视眈眈" (hǔ shì dān dān) level of vigilance.

生存 (shēng cún) verb, survive


  1. I need water to survive.
    Wǒ xūyào shuǐ lái shēngcún.
  2. Plants rely on sunlight for survival.
    Zhíwù yīlài yángguāng lái shēngcún.


"虎视眈眈" (hǔ shì dān dān) reminds us that vigilance and alertness are key to success in a competitive world. Whether in personal life or in the professional arena, remaining vigilant, identifying potential threats, and strategizing are essential.

This idiom also teaches us that, while we may face competitors, with clever strategies and collaboration, we can overcome potential 威胁wēi xié) threats.

威胁wēi xié) noun, threats


  1. Don't use threats to solve problems. 
    Bùyào yòng wēixié lái jiějué wèntí.
  2. He made a threat to reveal her secret. 
    Tā wēixié yào jiēlù tā de mìmì.

Modern Application

"虎视眈眈" (hǔ shì dān dān) holds profound significance in contemporary society. In the workplace, in business, and in personal life, maintaining vigilance and caution is crucial. We should learn to recognize potential threats, develop effective plans, and collaborate with others to ensure success and safety.

Key Sentences:

  1. He stared greedily at the chocolate.
    Tā hǔshìdāndān de dīngzhe nà kuài qiǎokèlì.
  2. The cat watched the birds flying outside the window with a hungry look.
    Māo hǔshìdāndān de kànzhe niǎo ér zài chuāng wài fēixiáng.
  3. She covetously wanted that beautiful handbag.
    Tā hǔshìdāndān de xiǎng yào nà jiàn piàoliang de shǒutí bāo.

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