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soldiers; a force; an army; weapons; arms; military; warlike
to come
a general; (will, shall, "future tense"); ready; prepared; to get; to use
arrange; put in order; hinder; resist; obstruct; cover; keep off; a cover; to block (a blow); to get in the way of
water; river to come
earth; dust; rural; uncouth; uncultured; plebeian
cover up; to surprise
trad. (兵來將擋,水來土掩)
simp. (兵来将挡,水来土掩)
Literally: “(If enemy) soldiers come, a general (should) stop them. (If flood) waters come, the earth (should) stem it.”




  1. to take such measures as the situation calls for.