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a Particle used in strong protestations and oaths, followed by acc. of the deity or thing appealed to; in itself neither affirmative nor negative, but made so by prefixing ναί or οὐ, or by the context:—thus,
I.ναὶ μὰ . . , in affirmation, ναὶ μὰ τόδε σκῆπτρον yea by this sceptre, Il.; ναὶ μὰ Δία, ναὶ μὰ τὸν Δία Ar., Plat.
II.οὐ μὰ . . , in negation, οὐ μὰ Ζῆνα, nay, by . . , Il.; οὔ τοι μὰ τοὺς δώδεκα θεούς Ar. attic μά is often used alone, mostly in negat. sense μὰ τὸν Ποσειδῶ Eur.:— in answers, when the negation is expressed in the question, οὐκ αὖ μ᾽ ἐάσεις; Answ. μὰ Δἴ (sc. οὐκ ἐάσω) Ar.
IV.the name of the deity was often suppressed, ναὶ μὰ τόν, οὐ μὰ τόν Plat.

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