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-scisco , īvi or ĭi, ītum, 3, v. n., orig. a publicist's t. t.
I.to free one's self from a connection with any one, to withdraw, leave, revolt from, = sciscendo deficere; and with an indication of the terminus, to desert to, go over to any one (class. prose).
II. Transf. beyond the political sphere, to depart, deviate, withdraw from a person or thing; to fall off from, be unfaithful to: “a nobis desciscere quaeres?Lucr. 1, 104: “a se ipse,Cic. Att. 2, 4, 2: “si Cicero a Demosthene paulum in hac parte descivit,Quint. 9, 4, 146: “cur Zeno ab hac antiqua institutione desciverit,Cic. Fin. 4, 8; so, “a pristina causa,id. Fam. 1, 9, 17 Orell. N. cr.: “a veritate,id. Ac. 2, 15: “a natura,id. Tusc. 3, 2: “a disciplina,Vell. 2, 81: “a virtute,id. 2, 1: “a consuetudine parentum,Plin. Ep. 3, 20, 4 et saep.: “a vita,to separate, sever one's self, Cic. Fin. 3, 18, 61 (opp. manere in vita).—Pass. impers.: “praecipiti cursu a virtute descitum, ad vitia transcursum,Vell. 2, 1.—Stating the terminus, to fall off to, decline to; to degenerate into: “ab excitata fortuna ad inclinatam et prope jacentem,Cic. Fam. 2, 16; cf.: “ad saevitiam, ad cupiditatem,Suet. Dom. 10: in regem (i. e. to degenerate, be transformed), Flor. 4, 3: “in monstrum,id. 4, 11.—
B. Of subjects not personal: “quis ignorat et eloquentiam et ceteras artes descivisse ab ista vetere gloria,Tac. Or. 28: “(vitis) gracili arvo non desciscit,does not degenerate, Col. 3, 2, 13: “semina,id. 3, 10, 18.
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