속수무책 – Korean 4 Character Idioms(사자성어) #6

3 Speed Only

With Explanation

When we catch some criminals, they are handcuffed and carried to the jails. We use handcuffs to restrict them from doing something bad.

Todays' expression 속수무책 is something like that. 속 here means imprisonment, restriction and 수 means hand. 책 here means answer or plan and 무 means no or nothing. If our hands are bound, it is hard for us to find solution for the problem and do some appropriate actions for that solution. This expression describes this situation. It is used when we cannot find any answer to the problems or plan to the upcoming situation.

I gave you an example of a crime scene at first, but this expression is used widely in almost any situation that you don't know what to do.

Examples

갑작스런 적 팀의 역습에 우리 팀은 속수무책으로 당하기만 하다가 결국 골을 내 주고야 말았다.
My team didn't know what to do when the sudden counterattack of the opponent started and we conceded a goal eventually.

아무리 그렇다고 해도 속수무책으로 당하고만 있을 수는 없잖아요?
Although the situation is like this, we should not be bullied by them without doing anything, should we?

두 사람 다 다른 방법이 없어서 그렇게 한 것이었는데, 일은 생각대로 풀리지 않았고, 그 여자는 결과에 대해 속수무책이었다.
Those two did so because they didn't have any other ways, but the work didn't go well, and she was helpless for the results.