In Chinese mythology, a kind of unicorn whose rare appearance often coincides with the imminent birth or death of a sage or illustrious ruler. Appearances could also indicate the benevolence of living emperors. A qilin has a single horn on its forehead, a yellow belly, a multicoloured back, a horse's hooves, a deer's body, and an ox's tail. Legend has it that a qilin appeared to the pregnant mother of Confucius.

Variants of QILIN

qilin or ch'i-lin

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on qilin, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up qilin? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.