Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
|Kanji in this term|
See the Mandarin section.
- (idiomatic) a very beautiful woman (Compare the English term femme fatale.)
- keisei no bijin
- a castle-toppling beauty
- (idiomatic) a courtesan
- (beautiful woman): 傾城傾国 (keiseikeikoku)
- Kōjien, 5th edition, Iwanami Shoten Publishing, Tōkyō.
- 111: Ban Gu, Book of Han, Chapter 67, Biographies of the emperor's maternal relatives (漢書外戚傳第六十七)
- Consort Li, concubine to the Emperor Wu of Han, was originally a dancing performer. Her brother Yannian was a gifted musician and dancer, beloved by the emperor. Every time he composed something new, it never failed to move those listening to it. One day, Yannian did a dance and sang, "There is a beauty in the north, who stands out among the generations. One look will topple the men of the city. A second look will topple the men of the country. I would rather not know about toppled cities and toppled countries, because a beauty of this caliber may not come around again! " His majesty sighed and said, "Wow! Can there really be such a person in this world? " Whereupon Pingyang mentioned that Yannian had a sister. His majesty summoned her, and she was indeed a sight to behold, and a good dancer. As a result, she received the emperor's favor, and bore him a son; this was Prince Ai of Changyi. (Wiktionary translation)
傾城 (traditional, Pinyin 倾城), simplified
- (archaic) a drop-dead gorgeous woman; a beauty who could drive a man to such distraction; a woman so beautiful, that he might be tempted to ignore his duties at court, and thus bring about the downfall of his empire
The story encapsulated by this word also figures prominently in the movie House of Flying Daggers.