xiān
adv./n. before, first; for the time being; first, lead, initiative; past, beginning
Other meanings
[xiān]   char. (lit.) elder generation, ancestor; (respectful term) late, deceased
    son
 n/a 
Simplified stroke orders are based on the 'Standard of National Commonly-used Mandarin Chinese Characters (现代汉语通用字笔顺规范)', issued by the China National Language and Character Working Committee (国家语言文字工作委员会) on April 7th 1997. Traditional stroke orders are based on information issued by the Taiwan Ministry of Education.
EXAMPLES
​,​。
​,​。
wó dǎ suàn xiān qù chāo shì , rán hòu hé nǐ yì qǐ huí jiā .
phr. I plan to go to the supermarket first and then go home with you.
​,​。
​,​。
xiān tīng cí dài rán hòu huí dá xià miàn de wèn tí .
phr. First listen to the tape and then answer the question below.
​,​。
​,​。
méi shì de huà , wǒ jiù xiān guà le .
phr. I will ring it off there is nothing else to say.
​。
​。
zhè suǒ xué xiào yuán xiān fēi cháng xiǎo .
phr. This school was originally quite small.
yǒu yán zài xiān
idiom. to make one's word clear beforehand, to previously pledged one's word
yáo yáo lǐng xiān
idiom. to advance by a long way in the front, to lead by a wide margin
​。
​。
dì di xiě de zì bí zǎo xiān hǎo duō le .
phr. The handwriting of (my) younger brother is much better than before.
​!
​!
nǐ xiān píng píng qì !
phr. Just calm down a bit!