Last modified on 7 January 2015, at 08:59



(surname); name of a dynasty begin emperor; (surname)
simp. and trad.
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Alternative formsEdit


From the addition of Chinese ("Qin") during the Han dynasty to the self-proclaimed title of 始皇帝, from Chinese ("first") + 皇帝 ("emperor"). Owing to the Chinese preference for two- or three-character names, the title was then contracted.


Proper nounEdit


  1. (historical) Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor of China

Usage notesEdit

Although the forms First Emperor, Shi Huangdi, and Shih Huang-ti remain more common in non-scholarly English, 秦始皇 is much more common in modern Chinese, with the non-truncated forms only appearing in scholarly or historical works.

The personal names 嬴政 and the rare hypercorrections 趙政赵政 are anachronisms: Chinese of the period generally employed their (ancestral names), (clan names), and (given names) separately and not in the compound form of modern Chinese.


  • 嬴政 (anachronistic personal name)
  • 趙政赵政 (rare, anachronistic personal name)