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plūma , ae, f.,
I.a small, soft feather; in plur., fine, soft feathers, down.
I. Lit. (clas.; “syn. penna): (animantium) pluma alias, alias squamā videmus obductas,Cic. N. D. 2, 47, 121: “plumae versicolores,id. Fin. 3, 5, 18: “mollis,Verg. A. 10, 192: “in plumis delituisse Jovem,” i. e. in the form of a swan, Ov. H. 8, 68.—They were used esp. for stuffing pillows and the beds of litters: “dormit in plumā,Mart. 12, 17, 8: “pensilibus plumis vehi,” i. e. in litters, Juv. 1, 159: “in plumā paternā dormire,id. 6, 88. —Also in clothing: “non avium plumae in usum vestium conseruntur?Sen. Ep. 90, 14.—As an image of lightness, triviality, insignificance, like feather with us: “homo levior quam pluma,Plaut. Men. 2, 3, 23: “levior plumā est gratia,id. Poen. 3, 6, 17: “ipsi plumā aut folio facilius moventur,Cic. Att. 8, 15, 2: “pluma haud interest, patronus, an cliens probior siet,there is not a pin to choose, Plaut. Most. 2, 1, 60.—
II. Transf.
A. Of the first beard, down (poet.): “insperata tuae cum veniet pluma superbiae,Hor. C. 4, 10, 2.—
B. The scales on a coat of mail, Stat. Th. 11, 542; cf.: “equus, quem pellis aënis In plumam squamis auro conserta tegebat,” i. e. scales of brass overlaid on a skin, Verg. A. 11, 771 Serv. and Heyn. ad loc.: “equis operimenta erant, quae lintea ferreis laminis in modum plumae adnexuerant,Sall. H. 4, 59 Dietsch.
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