The Dashui porphyry granitoids in the western Qinling Orogen are spatially associated with the Dashui gold deposit, but their ages and tectonic setting have not been well defined yet in previous studies. This paper reports the results and understandings obtained from our original study in geochronology and isotope and element geochemistry. SHRIMP zircon U–Pb dating yielded ages of 213.7 ± 2.7 Ma for granitic stock and 215.1 ± 2.5 and 210.2 ± 1.6 Ma for granitic dikes. The granitoids are characterized by high LREE but low HREE and HFSE. They have (87Sr/86Sr)i ratios of 0.706 to 0.709 and εNd(t) values of −5.3 to −7.6. The majority of zircons in the Dashui granitoids have εHf(t) values ranging from −6.2 to 6.7 and TDM2(Hf) ages from 743 to 1464 Ma. The isotope signatures, together with La/Y and Mg# values, show that the magmas are mainly sourced from partial melting of a subducted slab, and possibly assimilated immature sediments during upward migration. Thus, the Dashui granitoids most likely formed in a volcanic arc where supra-subduction zone melts assimilated lower crustal material no later than 215 Ma. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.