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versĭpellis (vorsĭp- ), e, adj. vertopellis, that changes its skin; hence, in gen.,
I.that changes its shape or form, that alters its appearance, that transforms himself or itself.
I. Lit.
A. In gen.: “eccum Juppiter In Amphitruonis vertit sese imaginem ... Ita versipellem se facit, quando lubet,Plaut. Am. prol. 123: “capillus fit,” i. e. turns gray, id. Pers. 2, 2, 48 (v. s. v. versicapillus).—
B. In partic., subst.: ver-sĭpellis , is, m., acc. to the superstitious belief of the ancients, one who can change himself into a wolf, a man-wolf, were-wolf, Plin. 8, 22, 34, § 80; Petr. 62 fin.; App. M. 2, p. 124, 21.—
II. Trop., skilled in dissimulation, sly, cunning, crafty, subtle (anteand post-class.): “vorsipellem esse hominem convenit, pectus cui sapit: bonus sit bonis, malus sit malis,Plaut. Bacch. 4, 4, 12 Ritschl: quicum versipellis fio, Lucil. ap. Non. p. 38, 7: “hortamen,Prud. Cath. 9, 91. —Comp., Porc. Latro ap. Cat. 9.
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