|simpl. and trad.|
Etymology unclear. A literal derivation is unlikely. First attested in the Tang Dynasty. If not a loanword from an Altaic language, it is likely that this is a disyllabic derivative of the Old Chinese root *m̥aŋ/m̥oŋ/m̥ɯŋ ("unclear, confused"), which had numerous descendants, for example "盲" (máng, "to be blind"), "茫" (máng, "boundless and indistinct"), "蒙" (méng, "darkness"), "梦" (mèng, "dream"), "昏" (hūn, "dim, confused"). Compare 馬虎 (mǎhu, "careless"), 麻胡 (máhú, "a mythical ferocious character"), 瑪呼 (mǎhū, "(to put on) a mask"), 糊涂 (hútu, "confused, obfuscated").
- to blur; to confuse; to mix up
- blurry; vague; obscure; fuzzy
- vaguely; dimly
- 2006, Marianne (ed.) Davidson; Julie Kleeman, Sarah Waldram, Collins Chinese Dictionary, edition 2nd edition (in English/Chinese), Glasgow, New York: Collins, ISBN-13 978-0-00-722391-6: