Taxonomy of meanings for 空:

  • kōng (OC: khooŋ MC: kʰuŋ) 苦紅切 平 廣韻:【空虚書曰伯禹作司空又漢複姓有空桐空相二氏苦紅切十四 】
  • kòng (OC: khooŋs MC: kʰuŋ) 苦貢切 去 廣韻:【空缺又苦紅切 】
    • EMPTY
      • nempty space
      • nabmetaphysicalemptiness 養空 "cultivate emptiness"BUDDH: emptiness, voidness (the notion of emptiness developed into one of the key terms of Mahāyāna Buddhism; for explanations in secondary literature see 'sources'); SANSKRIT śūnyatā
      • vad.VadN空大谷
      • vadNempty; empty of relevant content (an empty pond, for example, may be just empty of fish etc)
      • vadNbuddhistinsubstantial (without reality)
      • vadVemptily, in an empty state
      • vi-Pfigurativebe all receptive 空然
      • vi.redbe all empty
      • viempty, without content
      • vibuddhistBUDDH: empty, void, insubstantial (without self-nature, interdependent, and subject to constant change); skr. śūnya
      • vtoNcausative(to cause to be empty>) to deplete, to empty
      • vtoNcausativebe emptied
      • physical subject>HOLE
        • nab.post-V{NUM}figurativehole, opening (also abstract)
        • time>LEISURE
          • vadVat leisure, unoccupied
          • vioccasionally, in idiomatic contexts: be unemployed
          • NP[adN]the unemployed
        • generalised, abstract>SPACE
          • nwhat is empty > space; mid-air
          • what fills space>AIR
            • nmmidair; air; space
          • above>SKY
        • devoid of physical reality>ABSTRACT
          • vadNfigurativeinsubstantial, abstract, empty
          • vadNmathematical termCHEMLA 2003: devoid of concrete reference to specific cases.JZ 8.1, Liu Hui's comm (possibly even Li Chunfeng) 此都術也。以空言難曉。 "This is a universal/general procedure, and it is hard to understand on the basis of general discourse (without a concrete paradigm)." 故特繫之禾以決之。 "Therefore it makes a point of linking the procedure concretely to millet in order to sort out things."JZ 8.18, Liu Hui's comm: 綱羅、道精,豈傳之空言 "As for the main strands in this, and the subtleties of the method, how could this be transmitted through abstract/non-exemplifying discourse?" 記其施用之例,著策之數,每舉一隅焉。 "By recording an example of its use in practice, by noting down the numbers in counting rods (cè) (in each position on the calculating surface), in each case we bring up one corner of matters (and leave the remaining three implicit, to be understood by the reader)."
          • of substantial real size>TENUOUS
            • devoid of significant reality>UNIMPORTANT
              • vtoNputativeregard as unimportant
            • devoid of objective reality>UNTRUE
              • vadVgroundlessly
            • devoid of objective reason:COINCIDENCE
              • devoid of numerical value>ZERO
                • nabmathematical termCHEMLA 2003: 1. the number zero; 2. ( from ca. 400 AD 孫子算經 the digit zero in a many-digit number. SUPPLY EXAMPLE!!!JZ 8.9, comm. Liu Hui: 左上空。中法。下實。 "in the left column the top position is empty. The middle position is the divisor, and the lower position is the dividend." The parallelism in this series of statements shows that kōng 空 must be taken as an abstract noun, along with the other abstract nouns. 開元占經 (ed. 每空位處,�琣 w 一點。 "At each place where there is an empty position, one regularly places one dot (when one uses the Indian system)." (describing the Indian system as seen with Chinese eyes).
              • devoid of real purpose>IN VAIN
                • vadNvain
                • vadVto no effect, with no result
                • vibe in vain
              • devoid of admixtures>PURE
              • of property>POOR
                • vifigurativeEMPTY> be destitute, be in a state of poverty
              • grammaticalised>ONLY
                • vad.VtoNreference=objectonly the object