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discrīmen , ĭnis, n. contr. from discerimen à discerno; cf. crimen from cerno, lit.,
I.that which separates or divides two things from each other (for syn. cf.: differentia, discrepantia, diversitas, distantia); hence,
I. Lit., an intervening space, interval, distance, division, separation: “cum (duo maria) pertenui discrimine separarentur,Cic. Agr. 2, 32, 87: “minimum quos inter et hostem Discrimen murus clausaque porta facit,Ov. Pont. 1, 8, 62: “aequo discrimine,Lucr. 5, 690; Verg. A. 5, 154: “parvum leti,Ov. M. 7, 426; Verg. A. 9, 143: “dare discrimina costis,” i. e. to separate them, id. ib. 10, 382: “quae (sc. littera F) inter discrimina dentium efflanda est,Quint. 12, 10, 29: “agminum,Curt. 4, 12 fin.: “ungulae,Col. 6, 15 fin.: “comae,Ov. A. A. 2, 302; and in like manner poet.: telluris pectitae, i. e. furrow, Col. Poët. 10, 94; Claud. Nupt. Honor. 103: “medium luci,Grat. Cyneg. 486.—Hence, med. t. t., the dividing membrane, the midriff, diaphragm, Cael. Aur. Tard. 2, 11, 127; 5, 10, 124 al.
II. Trop. (so most frequent).
B. In partic.
1. With respect to disputed matters, which are to be distinguished between, and thus decided upon, the decisive point, turning-point, critical moment, determination, decision: “quoniam res in id discrimen adducta est, utrum ille poenas rei publicae luat, an nos serviamus,to this point, Cic. Phil. 3, 11, 29; cf.: “ea res nunc in discrimine versatur, utrum ... an, etc.,id. Quint. 30, 92; Liv. 29, 17: “vicit disciplina militaris, vicit imperii majestas, quae in discrimine fuerunt, an ulla post hanc diem essent,id. 8, 35, 4: haec et his similia haud in magno equidem ponam discrimine, shall not regard as of great moment, id. praef. § “8: postquam adesse discrimen ultimum belli animadvertit,id. 44, 23: “instant enim (adversarii) et saepe discrimen omne committunt,abandon the most decisive points, Quint. 6, 4, 17 et saep.—Poet.: “experiar, deus hic, discrimine aperto, An sit mortalis,the test, Ov. M. 1, 222.—
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