素 means usual and calmness (the word素 means vegetarian from paper). The term 安之若素describes a status of calmness (like usual) in a case of difficulty. But now this term is also used to describe the indifference by leaving wrong acts unchecked.
Example of 安之若素
To the future, I will keep warm smile, and be calm as usual in difficulties.
Synonyms: 泰然处之, 漠然置之, 随遇而安, 如坐春风, 镇定自若, 若无其事, 不动声色
Antonyms: 惊惶失措, 寝食不安, 见异思迁, 提心吊胆, 忐忑不安, 诚惶诚恐, 心烦意乱, 心中有愧
In the over 5,000 years history of China, Chinese idioms or set phrases (中国成语) exhibit concentrated Chinese language culture. They are simple, accurate, very expressive and widely adopted. The formation of each idiom shows some real historical facts, which reflect the political, military, cultural, civil fashion and morality in different periods with strong Chinese features. Learn more about other 4-word set phrases.