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dīrus , a, um, adj. Sanscr. root dī, to flee; Gr. δέος, δείδω, δεινός,
I.fearful, awful (for syn. cf.: saevus, atrox, ferox, crudelis, trux, furens, furiosus, immitis).
I. Orig. belonging to the lang. of augurs; of fate, ill-omened, ominous, boding, portentous: “QVAE AVGVR INIVSTA, NEFASTA VITIOSA DIRA DEFIXERIT, IRRITA INFECTAQVE SVNTO,Cic. Leg. 2, 8 fin.; cf. id. Div. 1, 16: “tristissima exta sine capite fuerunt, quibus nihil videtur esse dirius,id. ib. 2, 15 fin.; cf.: “bubo, dirum mortalibus omen,Ov. M. 5, 550: “omen,Tac. H. 3, 56; Suet. Aug. 92; id. Tib. 1, 3, 17: “aves,Tac. A. 12, 43; Suet. Claud. 22: “alites,Plin. 18, 1, 1, § 4: “somnia,Val. Fl. 3, 59: “tempus, Cic. Poët. Div. 1, 11, 18: exsecrationes,Liv. 40, 56; 28, 22; Suet. Claud. 12; cf. “deprecationes,Plin. 28, 2, 4, § 19: “detestatio,Hor. Epod. 5, 89: “ritus sacrorum,Tac. A. 16, 8: “religio loci,Verg. A. 8, 350 et saep.—Hence, as subst.:
1. dīrae , ārum, f.
(α). (sc. res), ill-boding things, portents, unlucky signs: “dirarum obnuntiatio,id. ib.; Plin. 28, 2, 4, § 17; 28, 2, 5, § 26; Tac. A. 6, 24 al.; Hor. Epod. 5, 89; Müll. Etrusk. 2, p. 117.—
(β). As a nom. propr., Dīrae , the Furies, Verg. A. 12, 845 sq.; 4, 473; Val. Fl. 1, 804; Aur. Vict. Epit. 21 al.; “called also Dirae deae, sorores,Verg. A. 7, 324 and 454.—
2. dīra , ōrum, n., fearful things, ill-boding events: “in dira et in vitiosa incurrimus,Cic. Div. 1, 16, 29; id. Leg. 2, 8, 21; cf.: “me mihi dira precari cogis,to curse, invoke curses on, Tib. 2, 6, 17: “dira passus,Vulg. Sirach, 38, 16.
II. Transf., of character, dreadful, horrible, terrible, abominable, detestable (so almost exclusively poet.; a very favorite expression with the Aug. poets; in the Ciceron. per. not at all; but cf. diritas, II.): senex dirissimus, Varr. Poët. ap. Non. 100, 30: “Dea,” i. e. Circe, Ov. M. 14, 278: “Ulixes,Verg. A. 2, 261; 762: “Hannibal,Hor. C. 2, 12, 2 al.: “durum,id. ib. 3, 6, 36 (also ap. Quint. 8, 2, 9): “Afer,Hor. C. 4, 4, 42: “Amulius,Ov. F. 4, 53: “noverca,id. H. 12, 188: “pellex,id. ib. 5, 60 et saep.: “hydra,Hor. Ep. 2, 1, 10: “serpens,Ov. M. 2, 651: “victima,id. A. A. 1, 334: “parens,fell, cruel, id. ib. 2, 383: “soror,Stat. S. 5, 3, 84: “parentes,Manil. 5, 541.—
b. Of inanimate and abstr. subjects: “regio,Ov. Tr. 3, 3, 5: “facies,id. F. 1, 553: “dapes,id. ib. 6, 663: “venena,Hor. Epod. 5, 61; id. S. 1, 9, 31: “Asphaltites lacus,Plin. 5, 15, 15, § 71: “scopulus,id. 4, 11, 18, § 51: “duarum Syrtium vadoso mari diri sinus,id. 5, 4, 4, § 26 et saep.: “bellum,Verg. A. 11, 217: “nefas,id. ib. 4, 563: “sollicitudines,Hor. Epod. 13, 10: “amores,Ov. M. 10, 426: “superbia,id. ib. 3, 354: “quies,Tac. A. 1, 65 et saep.—Poet., answering to the Gr. δεινός, with inf.: “dira portas quassare trabs,Sil. 4, 284.—
B. Skilful: “in complicandis negotiis,Amm. 14, 5, 8.
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