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詞類 英文意義
1 v. loose; allow; relax; let go; let fly; be indulgent; release; set free
2 adj. vertical; perpendicular; longitudinal; lengthwise
3 conj. although
4 idiom even if; granted that

http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-mf/search.php?word=%E7%B8%B1 wrote that "可能由於絲織品是由直線和橫線編織而成,故「縱」後來表示「直」,與「橫」相對。" Here's my translation in English — perhaps because silk fabrics are woven from straight and horizontal threads, 「縱」means straight, as opposed to "horizontal".

  1. But the website did not elaborate 3 and 4? How is "although" related to "本義是一種絲織品。"?

  2. How is "even if; granted that" related to "本義是一種絲織品。"?

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2 Answers 2

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『說文解字』- "(縱)緩也。一曰捨也。各本作舍也,由俗以舍捨通用也。今正。捨者,釋也。从糸從聲。足用切。九部。後人以爲從衡(橫)字者,非也。"

As indicated above, 縱 means "although", since it implies the relation of one "yield to" another, which is similar to the original meaning - "relax/release and soften"; as well as the idioms derived from it "縱使(even if),縱令(even though)".

『說文解字』disputes the origin of the word has something to do with 衡(transverse, horizontal, also 橫), for which, 豎 (vertical) is clearly the counterpart of it. This dispute puts the association of the origin of 縱 with the orientation of the threads in the (silk) fabrics in doubt, if not completely brushed aside. From this, your questions could well be based on a potentially "false" claim that bears no answer.

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「縱」後來表示「直」,與「橫」相對

縱 -- a vertical line extends forward

橫 - a horizontal line extends sideways

縱 (extends forward) --> let go --> allow --> indulge

縱: although; even if; granted that

(allow one factor doesn't make other factors in a situation reasonable/ inevitable)

Example:

縱死不懼 - not afraid even if/ although facing death

you allow (accept) the fact that you are facing death, but it still doesn't make fear inevitable

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  • thanks. what do you mean by "(allow one factor doesn't make other factors in a situation reasonable/ inevitable)" ? I do not understand how you leaped from "allow" to "even if" and "although". Pls elaborate?
    – user11787
    Jul 31 at 21:54
  • For example, allow the fact that an item is expensive, but it isn't a strong enough reason for you to not buy it. Put it into context, we got "although it is expensive, I am still buying it"
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 31 at 22:12

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