Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *med): semantic 氵 (“water”) + phonetic 烕 (OC *hmed) – to destroy with water (extinguish, flood).
From Proto-Sino-Tibetan *s-miːt (“to extinguish; to shut abruptly; to wink; to blink; to die”). Matisoff compares Burmese မှိတ် (hmit, “(of eyes) to close; (of light) to put out, to switch off”) and possibly Tibetan མེད (med, “to not exist”). Cognate Chinese characters include:
- 烕 (OC *hmed, “to destroy; to cause destruction”)
- 蔑 (OC *meːd, *meːd, “to destroy”)
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.).
- to obliterate; to wipe out; to eradicate; to conquer
- to be destroyed; to perish; to die
- to disappear; to vanish
- to extinguish (a fire); (of light or fire) to go out
- to turn off (light, lamp, etc.)
- to alter (handwriting)