CUHK doesn't even moot the meaning of "destroy" that undeniably is the polar opposite meaning of 立!

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Oxford Chinese Dictionary (2010) p 182.

Axel Schuessler, ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese (2007) doesn't define 端 alone. I found 端 on p. 218,

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but it redirects you to p 195.

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  • 3
    How does 而's original meaning (beard) semantically appertain its conjunctions (1. and, 2. but, 3. if, 4. to)? It doesn't. 後借用作連詞 means later used as a phonetic loan.
    – dROOOze
    Sep 29 at 8:56
  • “Phonetic loan” means that the meanings “beard” and “conjunction” are unrelated but the two words sounded similar. So people started to use the 而 to write the conjunction particle and the original meaning was written with to other characters.
    – FUZxxl
    Oct 8 at 8:02
  • One of the meanings of 端 is holding something (dish or bowl) level. It does been used as slang, by gangsters, to mean wipe out or to kill (similar to 幹掉) such as in "端掉他們的老巢", wipe them (another gang) out from their base, "把他給端了", kill him. In nowadays, 端 has gained another use by the youngsters - "端馬子", raping girls, "端她", f-k/rape her. Note that none of those usages is considered conventional, but slang mainly used by the gangsters.
    – r13
    Oct 12 at 0:48

I don't know why this question has three downvotes. Maybe people think the answer is too obvious? (I didn't downvote.)

The CUHK definition as quoted by OP is quite clear. The sense of "wipe out; destroy" comes from the sense "hold sth. level with both hands". Imagine there is a beehive on your bedroom wall. You hold it, which means you take it off from your wall, which means you remove it. This sense is still used mainly metaphorically, so it is used together with words like 巢 and 窝 (eg. 端掉老巢 and 端掉贼窝). It can't be used as a neutral default word for "destroy".

  • Thanks for your encouragement Betty! I can only hope for your ingenuity and savvy in expatiating these senses that AREN'T obvious to me at all!!! Can I ask if you studied linguistics?
    – Coosf
    Oct 12 at 6:10
  • @Coosf You're welcome. :) Yes, I studied linguistics.
    – Betty
    Oct 12 at 7:26

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