xiān first; before

Made up of [ ér legs radical 10]
Used as component in :
Made with 6 strokes.
Consists of a small plant on top of legs and has the meaning of 'advance' and hence be first
Ancient small seal form Small seal

Related characters

Also uses ér component: ér (child) guāng (light) jiàn (see) kè (to be able to) miǎn (to escape) tù (rabbit) xiōng (elder brother) yuán (primary) zhēn (really)

Sounds same

xiān (fresh) xiān (immortal)

Different tone

xián xián (to stay idle) xiǎn (danger) xiàn (to appear)

< Previous xiān Next xiān >


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李先念 Li Xiannian


笨鸟先飞早入林 bèn niǎo xiān fēi zǎo rù lín Starting early helps achieve success
恶人先告状 è rén xiān gàozhuàng The perpetrator diverts attention by being the first to complain
捷足先登 jié zú xiān dēng To succeed need to start off first
先下手为强 xiān xià shǒu wéi qiáng To gain the upper hand by striking first
先发制人 xiān fā zhì rén The first side to attack/move often has the advantage. An admonishment to act now and not dither about.
近水楼台先得月 jìn shuǐ lóu tái xiān dé yuè An allusion to the wisdom of having friends in high circles that often results in benefits.


xiān shēng Mr.