From Proto-Sino-Tibetan*s-miːt (“to extinguish; to shut abruptly; to wink; to blink; to die”). Matisoff compares Burmeseမှိတ် (hmit, “(of eyes) to close; (of light) to put out, to switch off”) and possibly Tibetanམེད (med, “to not exist”). Cognate Chinese characters include:
The Old Chinese *e ~ Proto-Tibeto-Burman *i vowel discrepancy may be explained by a reanalysis of the proto-etymon in Chinese, as derived from 隳 (OC *hmai, “to destroy”) + suffix *-t (Schuessler, 2009), although 隳 is reconstructed in the Baxter-Sagart and Zhengzhang systems as having an *l-like initial. The direct Chinese comparandum of Proto-Tibeto-Burman *mit may be 沒 (OC *mɯːd, “to disappear; to die; to perish in water”) (ibid.).