early; prior; former; in advance; first

strokes 6
strokes after radical 4
按时间先后 按時間先後 an4 shi2 jian1 xian1 hou4

巴先 巴先 ba1 xian1
percent (loanword)

白先勇 白先勇 bai2 xian1 yong3
Bai Xianyong (1937-), Chinese-Taiwanese-US novelist of Hui descent

百善孝为先 百善孝為先 bai3 shan4 xiao4 wei2 xian1
of all virtues filial piety is most important (idiom)

笨鸟先飞 笨鳥先飛 ben4 niao3 xian1 fei1
lit. the clumsy bird flies early (idiom); fig. to work hard to compensate for one's limited abilities

兵马未动,粮草先行 兵馬未動,糧草先行 bing1 ma3 wei4 dong4 - liang2 cao3 xian1 xing2
before the troops move, fodder and provisions go first (idiom); logistics comes before military maneuvers; an army marches on its stomach

不首先使用 不首先使用 bu4 shou3 xian1 shi3 yong4
no first use (policy for nuclear weapons); NFU

缠夹二先生 纏夾二先生 chan2 jia1 er4 xian1 sheng5
annoying muddle-headed person who gabbles unintelligibly

承先启后 承先啟後 cheng2 xian1 qi3 hou4
see 承前啟後|承前启后

春江水暖鸭先知 春江水暖鴨先知 chun1 jiang1 shui3 nuan3 ya1 xian1 zhi1
lit. the duck is the first to know if the spring water is warm (idiom); fig. an expert in the field knows which way the wind blows

从先 從先 cong2 xian1
(dialect) before; in the past; previously

大先知书 大先知書 da4 xian1 zhi1 shu1
the biblical books of the prophets

戴克里先 戴克里先 dai4 ke4 li3 xian1
Diocletian (c. 245-311), Roman emperor

德先生 德先生 de2 xian1 sheng5
"Mr Democracy", phrase used during the May 4th Movement 五四運動|五四运动; abbr. for 德謨克拉西|德谟克拉西; see also 賽先生|赛先生

恶人先告状 惡人先告狀 e4 ren2 xian1 gao4 zhuang4
the guilty party files the suit; the thief cries thief

风水先生 風水先生 feng1 shui3 xian1 sheng5
fengshui master; geomancer; stock figure in folk tales, as wise adviser or as charlatan

敢为人先 敢為人先 gan3 wei2 ren2 xian1
to dare to be first; to pioneer (idiom)

革命先烈 革命先烈 ge2 ming4 xian1 lie4
martyr to the revolution

工欲善其事,必先利其器 工欲善其事,必先利其器 gong1 yu4 shan4 qi2 shi4 - bi4 xian1 li4 qi2 qi4
To do a good job, an artisan needs the best tools (idiom). Good tools are prerequisite to the successful execution of a job

国际先驱论坛报 國際先驅論壇報 guo2 ji4 xian1 qu1 lun4 tan2 bao4
International Herald Tribune

憨豆先生 憨豆先生 han1 dou4 xian1 sheng5
Mr. Bean (TV)

好好先生 好好先生 hao3 hao3 xian1 sheng5
Mr Goody-goody; yes-man (sb who agrees with anything)

后进先出 後進先出 hou4 jin4 xian1 chu1
to come late and leave first; last in, first out (LIFO)

急先锋 急先鋒 ji2 xian1 feng1
daring vanguard; pioneer; leading figure

捷足先登 捷足先登 jie2 zu2 xian1 deng1
the quick-footed climb up first (idiom); the early bird catches the worm; first come, first served

尽先 儘先 jin3 xian1
in the first instance; as a first priority

近水楼台先得月 近水樓臺先得月 jin4 shui3 lou2 tai2 xian1 de2 yue4
the pavilion closest to the water enjoys moonlight first (idiom); to benefit from intimacy with an influential person

开路先锋 開路先鋒 kai1 lu4 xian1 feng1
pioneer; trailbreaker

开先 開先 kai1 xian1
at first

溘先朝露 溘先朝露 ke4 xian1 zhao1 lu4
the morning dew will swiftly dissipate (idiom); fig. ephemeral and precarious nature of human existence

李先念 李先念 li3 xian1 nian4
Li Xiannian (1909-1992), PRC general and politician

领先 領先 ling3 xian1
to lead; to be in front

领先地位 領先地位 ling3 xian1 di4 wei4
lead(ing) position

女士优先 女士優先 nv3 shi4 you1 xian1
Ladies first!

其先 其先 qi2 xian1
previously; before that; up to then

起先 起先 qi3 xian1
at first; in the beginning

抢先 搶先 qiang3 xian1
to rush (to do sth urgent); to try to be the first; to forestall

赛先生 賽先生 sai4 xian1 sheng5
"Mr Science", phrase used during the May 4th Movement 五四運動|五四运动; abbr. for 賽因斯|赛因斯; see also 德先生

少年先锋队 少年先鋒隊 shao4 nian2 xian1 feng1 dui4
Young Pioneers of China (primary school league, a preparation for Communist Youth League); abbr. to 少先隊|少先队

少先队 少先隊 shao4 xian1 dui4
Young Pioneers of China, abbr. for 少年先鋒隊|少年先锋队

身先士卒 身先士卒 shen1 xian1 shi4 zu2
to fight at the head of one's troops; (fig.) to take the lead

身先朝露 身先朝露 shen1 xian1 zhao1 lu4
body will go with the morning dew (idiom); fig. ephemeral and precarious nature of human existence

事先 事先 shi4 xian1
in advance; before the event; beforehand; prior

事先通知 事先通知 shi4 xian1 tong1 zhi1
preliminary notification; to announce in advance

首先 首先 shou3 xian1
first (of all); in the first place

率先 率先 shuai4 xian1
to take the lead; to show initiative

算命先生 算命先生 suan4 ming4 xian1 sheng5

未卜先知 未卜先知 wei4 bu3 xian1 zhi1
predictable; sth one can predict without being a clairvoyant

未老先衰 未老先衰 wei4 lao3 xian1 shuai1
to age prematurely

闻风先遁 聞風先遁 wen2 feng1 xian1 dun4
to flee at hearing the news (idiom)

先辈 先輩 xian1 bei4
elders; former generations

先妣 先妣 xian1 bi3
deceased mother; mother of an ancestor

先鞭 先鞭 xian1 bian1
to take precedence; to make an early start; to lead the way

先不先 先不先 xian1 bu4 xian1
(dialect) first of all; in the first place

先慈 先慈 xian1 ci2
deceased mother

先达 先達 xian1 da2
famous and virtuous ancestors; the great men of the past

先大母 先大母 xian1 da4 mu3
deceased paternal grandmother

先导 先導 xian1 dao3
guide; forerunner; pioneer

先到先得 先到先得 xian1 dao4 xian1 de2
first come first served

先帝遗诏 先帝遺詔 xian1 di4 yi2 zhao4
posthumous edict of former emperor; Liu Bei's 劉備|刘备 edict to posterity

先睹为快 先睹為快 xian1 du3 wei2 kuai4
joy of first experience (idiom); the pleasure of reading sth for the first time

先发 先發 xian1 fa1
initial; arising first; same as 首先發起|首先发起

先发制人 先發制人 xian1 fa1 zhi4 ren2
to gain the initiative by striking first (idiom); to preempt; to anticipate; preemptive

先锋 先鋒 xian1 feng1
vanguard; pioneer

先锋队 先鋒隊 xian1 feng1 dui4

先父 先父 xian1 fu4
deceased father; my late father

先公 先公 xian1 gong1
deceased father; deceased senior male figure

先汉 先漢 xian1 han4
pre-Han; China before to 200 BC

先河 先河 xian1 he2
priority; sth advocated first; refers to ancient tradition: Worship the river first, then the sea.

先后 先後 xian1 hou4
early or late; priority; in succession; one after another

先后顺序 先後順序 xian1 hou4 shun4 xu4
order of priority; sequential order

先皇 先皇 xian1 huang2
the late Emperor

先机 先機 xian1 ji1
key moment; decisive opportunity

先见 先見 xian1 jian4
foresight; prescience

先见者 先見者 xian1 jian4 zhe3

先见之明 先見之明 xian1 jian4 zhi1 ming2

先进 先進 xian1 jin4
advanced (technology); to advance

先进集体 先進集體 xian1 jin4 ji2 ti3

先进水平 先進水平 xian1 jin4 shui3 ping2
advanced level

先进武器 先進武器 xian1 jin4 wu3 qi4
advanced weapon

先觉 先覺 xian1 jue2
person with foresight

先决 先決 xian1 jue2
prerequisite; precondition

先决条件 先決條件 xian1 jue2 tiao2 jian4
precondition; prerequisite

先决问题 先決問題 xian1 jue2 wen4 ti2
preliminary question; priority problem; issues requiring more immediate attention

先君 先君 xian1 jun1
my late father; my ancestors; the late emperor

先来后到 先來後到 xian1 lai2 hou4 dao4
in order of arrival; first come, first served

先礼后兵 先禮後兵 xian1 li3 hou4 bing1
peaceful measures before using force (idiom); diplomacy before violence; jaw-jaw is better than war-war

先例 先例 xian1 li4
antecedent; precedent

先烈 先烈 xian1 lie4

先令 先令 xian1 ling4
shilling (loanword)

先期 先期 xian1 qi1
in advance; beforehand; premature; front-end

先期录音 先期錄音 xian1 qi1 lu4 yin1
prerecording; to prerecord

先前 先前 xian1 qian2
before; previously

先遣队 先遣隊 xian1 qian3 dui4
advance party; advance troops

先秦 先秦 xian1 qin2
pre-Qin, Chinese history up to the foundation of the Qin imperial dynasty in 221 BC

先驱 先驅 xian1 qu1

先驱者 先驅者 xian1 qu1 zhe3

先人 先人 xian1 ren2
ancestors; previous generations; my late father

先容 先容 xian1 rong2
to introduce sb; to recommend

先入为主 先入為主 xian1 ru4 wei2 zhu3
lit. first impression is strongest

先声 先聲 xian1 sheng1
herald; precursor; harbinger

先声夺人 先聲奪人 xian1 sheng1 duo2 ren2
to gain the upper hand by a show of strength

先生 先生 xian1 sheng5
Mister (Mr.)

先生 先生 xian1 sheng5
teacher; husband; doctor (dialect)

先天 先天 xian1 tian1
inborn; innate; natural

先天不足 先天不足 xian1 tian1 bu4 zu2
congenital deficiency; inherent weakness

先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐 先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂 xian1 tian1 xia4 zhi1 you1 er2 you1 - hou4 tian1 xia4 zhi1 le4 er2 le4
The first concern is affairs of state, enjoying the pleasure comes later. Quotation from essay On Yueyang Tower 岳陽樓記|岳阳楼记 by Song writer Fan Zhongyan 範仲淹|范仲淹

先天性 先天性 xian1 tian1 xing4
congenital; intrinsic; innateness

先天性缺陷 先天性缺陷 xian1 tian1 xing4 que1 xian4
birth defect

先天愚型 先天愚型 xian1 tian1 yu2 xing2
Down syndrome; trisomy 21

先头 先頭 xian1 tou2
in advance; ahead; before; previously

先王 先王 xian1 wang2
former kings; former emperors; in Confucian writing, refers esp. to the sage rulers Yao 堯|尧, Shun 舜, Yu 禹, Tang 湯|汤 and the kings of Zhou

先王之道 先王之道 xian1 wang2 zhi1 dao4
the way of former kings

先王之乐 先王之樂 xian1 wang2 zhi1 yue4
the music of former kings

先王之政 先王之政 xian1 wang2 zhi1 zheng4
the rule of former kings

先下手为强 先下手為強 xian1 xia4 shou3 wei2 qiang2
strike first and gain the upper hand (idiom, martial arts term); Making the first move is an advantage.

先贤 先賢 xian1 xian2
worthy predecessor; distinguished person of the past; former sage

先行 先行 xian1 xing2
to precede others; in advance

先行者 先行者 xian1 xing2 zhe3

先验 先驗 xian1 yan4
a priori (philosophy)

先验概率 先驗概率 xian1 yan4 gai4 lv4
prior probability (statistics)

先有 先有 xian1 you3
prior; preexisting

先有后婚 先有後婚 xian1 you3 hou4 hun1
marriage arranged following a pregnancy; marriage necessitated by an unplanned pregnancy

先斩后奏 先斬後奏 xian1 zhan3 hou4 zou4
first decapitate then present your trophy (idiom); act first, report later

先兆 先兆 xian1 zhao4

先哲 先哲 xian1 zhe2
distinguished precursor; famous thinker of antiquity

先知 先知 xian1 zhi1

先知先觉 先知先覺 xian1 zhi1 xian1 jue2
foresight; having foresight; person of foresight

先祖 先祖 xian1 zu3
deceased grandfather; ancestry

遥遥领先 遙遙領先 yao2 yao2 ling3 xian1
a long way in front; to lead by a wide margin

一马当先 一馬當先 yi1 ma3 dang1 xian1
to take the lead

意存笔先,画尽意在 意存筆先,畫盡意在 yi4 cun2 bi3 xian1 - hua4 jin4 yi4 zai4
the idea is present before the first stroke of the brush, when the last stroke is placed the idea shines through

优先 優先 you1 xian1
to have priority; to take precedence

优先承购权 優先承購權 you1 xian1 cheng2 gou4 quan2
prior purchase right; right of first refusal (ROFR); preemptive right to purchase

优先股 優先股 you1 xian1 gu3
preferred stock

优先认股权 優先認股權 you1 xian1 ren4 gu3 quan2
preemptive right (in share issue)

有约在先 有約在先 you3 yue1 zai4 xian1
to have a prior engagement

欲善其事,必先利其器 欲善其事,必先利其器 yu4 shan4 qi2 shi4 - bi4 xian1 li4 qi2 qi4
To do a good job, an artisan needs the best tools (idiom). Good tools are prerequisite to the successful execution of a job

预先 預先 yu4 xian1
beforehand; in advance

原先 原先 yuan2 xian1
originally; original; former

在先 在先 zai4 xian1
to come first; previous; prior; beforehand; first; formerly

早先 早先 zao3 xian1
previously; before

占先 佔先 zhan4 xian1
to take precedence

账房先生 賬房先生 zhang4 fang2 xian1 sheng5
bookkeeper (old)

争先 爭先 zheng1 xian1
to compete to be first; to contest first place

争先恐后 爭先恐後 zheng1 xian1 kong3 hou4
striving to be first and fearing to be last (idiom); outdoing one another

直系祖先 直系祖先 zhi2 xi4 zu3 xian1
direct ancestor

中国少年先锋队 中國少年先鋒隊 zhong1 guo2 shao3 nian2 xian1 feng1 dui4
Young Pioneers of China

祖先 祖先 zu3 xian1
ancestor; forebears

最先 最先 zui4 xian1
(the) very first