前 - Dong Chinese dictionary

qián

in front

Originally written as , depicting putting shoes on feet to prepare to go forward. The (knife) component was added because is phonetically similar to (cut) and was sometimes used to mean "cut".

Components
歬 sound,iconic component

  Sound Iconic component

qián

  

go forward

Depicts putting shoes on feet () to prepare to go forward.

刂 iconic component

  Iconic component

dāo

  

knife

Evolution

前 Bronze script Mid Western Zhou (~900 BC)

Bronze script

Mid Western Zhou (~900 BC)
前 Seal script Shuowen (~100 AD)

Seal script

Shuowen (~100 AD)
前 Clerical script Qin dynasty (221-206 BC)

Clerical script

Qin dynasty (221-206 BC)
前 Regular script Modern

Regular script

Modern
Definitions

 

qián

in front, forward; preceding; front; forward; ahead; first; top (followed by a number); future; ago; before; BC (e.g. 293); former; formerly

Most common words with 前
Freq.
Word
Meaning

front

之前

before

目前

currently

以前

before

前面

ahead

Component uses

Sound component in 5 characters