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pŏtis (in the positive rarely declined, and in the
I.neutr. pŏte ), adj. (comp. -tĭor , ius; sup. pŏtissĭmus , a, um; class. only in the comp.) [Sanscr. patis, lord; Gr. πόσις, husband; δεσ-πότης, lord; Lat. compotis (compos) potiri].
I. Posit., able, capable; possible (mostly ante-class. and poet.): divi qui potes pro illo quod Samothraces θεοὶ δυνατοί, Varr L. L. 5, § 58 Müll.; Macr. S. 3, 4: “nisi qui colaphos perpeti Potis parasitus,Plaut. Capt. 1, 1, 21.—Usually in the connection potis or pote est, he, she, or it is able, may, or can: “at ea supterfugere potis es pauca,Plaut. Capt. 5, 2, 17: neque sanguis ullo potis est pacto profluens consistere, old poet ap. Cic. Tusc. 2, 16, 38: istam non potis est vis saeva exstinguere venti, Poët. ap. Gell. 19, 9, 12: “at non Evandrum potis est vis ulla tenere,Verg. A. 11, 148: “quod nunquam potis est sejungi,Lucr. 1, 452: “nec potis est cerni,id. 5, 719; Cat. 76, 24: “qui potis est?how is it possible? id. 72, 7.—With plur.: si speres quicquam prodesse potis sunt, Enn. ap. Fest. p. 333 Müll. (Ann. v. 410 Vahl.): “duae plus satis dare potis sunt,Plaut. Poen. 1, 2, 17: “quid pastores potis sint,Varr. R. R. 2, 2.—Without est: quis potis ingentes oras evolvere belli? Enn. ap. Diom. p. 381 P. (Ann. v. 178 Vahl.); Verg. A. 3, 671; Hor. C. 3, 17, 13.—Form pote: “si non aliud pote est,Cat. 43, 16. Without est: “nec devitari letum pote,Lucr. 3, 1079: viget, veget, utpote plurimum, Varr. ap Non. 2, 876: “nec non emptor pote ex empto vendito illum damnare,id. R. R. 2, 2: “nec eniti remis pote,Val. Fl. 4, 680; Prop. 2, 1, 46: “qui pote? vis dicam? nugaris,Pers. 1, 56: “in te dici pote, Id, quod,Cat. 98, 1: “nec peccatum a me quisquam pote dicere quicquam,id. 67, 11: “hoc facito, sive id non pote sive pote,be it impossible or possible, id. 76, 16: “quid pote simplicius?what can be more simple? Mart. 9, 16, 2: “nihil pote supra,nothing could exceed it, Ter. Ad. 2, 3, 11; Auct. ap. Cic. Brut. 46, 172; Cic. Att. 13, 38, 1: “quantum pote,as soon as possible, id. ib. 4, 13, 1: quam pote, as much as possible (post-class.): “aufugiamus istinc quam pote longissime,App. M. 1, p. 107, 9; 2, p. 119, 33.—
II. Comp.: pŏtĭor , us, that may be preferred, preferred; better, preferable (class.).
A. Of persons: “numquam edepol erit ille potior Harpax, quam ego,Plaut. Ps. 4, 1, 17; 1, 3, 95: “quem aequiust potiorem habere quam te?id. Stich. 1, 2, 40: qui plus pollet potiorque est patre, old poet ap. Cic. Tusc. 4, 32, 69; id. Fam. 10, 3, 2: “itaque cives potiores quam peregrini,id. Lael. 5, 19: “Sosim et Moericum quibus tantam crederem rem, potiores habui,Liv. 26, 31, 4: “at tu, qui potior nunc es,happier in love, preferred, Tib. 1, 6, 33 (5, 69): “ut in judicio possessionis potior esset,Dig. 18, 1, 34.—
B. Of things, better, stronger, preferable, more useful or important: “nulla potior serenda,Varr. R. R. 1, 15: “sucus,Plin. 36, 22, 43, § 158: “novistine locum potiorem rure beato?Hor. Ep. 1, 10, 14: “sententia,id. Epod. 16, 17: “mors civibus Romanis semper fuit servitute potior,Cic. Phil. 10, 9, 19: “illi turpis vita integrā famā potior fuit,Sall. J. 67, 3: “nihil mihi potius fuit quam ut Massinissam convenirem,I had nothing more important, nothing more urgent to do, Cic. Rep. 6, 9, 9: “illa semper potiora duxisti, quae, etc.,id. de Or. 3, 22, 82: “semper se rei publicae commoda privatis necessitatibus habuisse potiora,Caes. B. C. 1, 8.— Subst.: “ut probetis potiora,Vulg. Phil. 1, 10: hem, mater mea, tibi rem potiorem video (sc. verbis), I see a fact stronger than words, i. e. a clearer proof, Plaut. Aul. 4, 7, 12.—
III. Sup.: pŏtissĭmus , a, um, the chief, principal, most prominent, most important.
B. Of things (class.): “utrum potius, aut quid potissimum sit, quaeritur,Cic. Inv. 1, 12, 17: “cura,Stat. S. 4, 4, 20: “nobilitas,Plin. 14, 2, 4, § 25: “opusculum,Plin. Ep. 4, 14, 10: “causa,Tac. A. 4, 16.—Hence, adv., only in the comp. and sup.
A. Comp.: pŏtĭus , rather, preferably, more (class.; cf.: satius, prius): quo nos vocabis nomine? Ar. Libortos. Le. Non patronos? Ar. Id potius, Plaut. As. 3, 3, 62: “sed scin', quid volo potius, sodes, facias?Ter. Hec. 5, 1, 27; id. And. 5, 3, 2: “nec vero imperia expetenda: ac potius non accipienda interdum,Cic. Off. 1, 20, 68.— With quam, Plaut. Aul. 4, 2, 11: “Galliam potius esse Ariovisti quam populi Romani,Caes. B. G. 1, 45.—When the predicates are compared, the verb in the following clause is always in the subj.: “perpessus est omnia potius quam conscios indicaret,rather than, Cic. Tusc. 2, 22, 52: “in oratione non vis potius quam delectatio postulatur,Cic. de Or. 2, 78, 317: “privabo potius illum debito testimonio quam id cum meā laude communicem,id. Ac. 2, 1, 3: “scribam aliquid potius, quam committam ut litterae non reddantur,id. Att. 5, 6, 2: “nos potius nostro delicto plectemur, quam res publica nostra peccata luat,Liv. 8, 7, 17: “per interregem comitia habenda potius, quam consulum alter a bello avocaretur,id. 22, 23, 10; 9, 14, 16.— So with quam ut: “se miliens morituros potius quam ut tantum dedecoris admitti patiantur,Liv. 4, 2, 8: audeo dicere hoc malo domitos ipsos potius cultores agrorum fore, quam ut armati, etc., id. 2, 34, 11; 6, 28, 8; 9, 14, 7.—But after verbs of willing, wishing (sometimes of declaring), the inf. is used: “dictatore obstinato tollere potius totum e re publicā consulatum, quam promiscuum facere,Liv. 7, 21, 1; 23, 9, 8; 21, 13, 8: v. Weissenb. ad Liv. 2, 15, 2; Fest. s. v. olivitam, p. 202 Müll.; v. Muuml;ll. ad. loc. p. 203, a. —In an inverted order: “quam potius,Verg. Copa, 5: quid mihi negotii est eum istis nugacibus, quam potius potamus mulsum? C. Titius ap. Macr. S. 2, 12.—Sometimes potius is to be supplied: “tacita, bona est mulier semper, quam loquens,Plaut. Rud. 4, 4, 70; id. Men. 5, 1, 26: “tamen statuit congredi, quam cum tantis copiis refugere,Nep. Dat. 8, 1.—Pleon., with words which already express comparison.—Comp., Ter. Hec. 4, 1, 19: “Uticae potius quam Romae esse malle,Cic. Lig. 2, 5: “favorabiliores rei potius, quam actores habentur,Dig. 50, 17, 167.—
2. Esp., introducing a repetition of a thought in a corrected or strengthened form: aut potius, vel potius, or rather, or I may better say, etc.: “efficiet enim ratio ut ... mors aut malum non sit, aut sit bonum potius,Cic. Tusc. 1, 11, 23: “quam fuit imbecillus P. Africani filius, quam tenui aut nullā potius valetudine,id. Sen. 11, 35: “erravit aut potius insanivit Apronius?Cic. Verr. 2, 3, 48, § 113: “Cato magnus hercule homo, vel potius summus et singularis vir,id. Brut. 85, 293; Dig. 1, 5, 16.—
B. Sup.: pŏtissĭmē (pŏtissŭ- ), and more freq. pŏtissĭmum (pŏtissŭ- ), chiefly, principally, especially, in preference to all others, above all, most of all (class.).—Form potissime, Cels. 3, 6.—Form potissimum: “responde, quo leto censes me ut peream potissimum?Plaut. Merc. 2, 4, 15; Ter. And. 2, 6, 23: “exsistat aliquis et potissimum Caecus ille,Cic. Cael. 14, 33; id. Mur. 2, 4: “nos id potissimum consecuti sumus,id. Tusc. 5, 4, 11: “tanta erat contentio, qui potissimum ex magno numero conscenderent, ut,Caes. B. C. 2, 43: “quid agam? aut quo potissimum infelix accedam?Sall. J. 14, 15; Auct. Her. 3, 2, 2; Lact. 2, 18, 3.
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