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Lewis : discrimen

discrimen, discrīmen, ĭnis, n. contr. from discerimen à discerno; cf. crimen from cerno, lit., that which separates or divides two things from each other (for syn. cf.: differentia, discrepantia, diversitas, distantia); hence, 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.

Trop. (so most frequent). In gen., a distinction, difference: amabat omnes, nam discrimen non facit, Lucil. ap. Non. 282, 27: iste, qui omnia jura pretio exaequasset omniumque rerum delectum atque discrimen pecunia sustulisset, Cic. Verr. 2, 2, 50; cf.: officia tollebantur delectu omni et discrimine remoto, id. Fin. 4, 25, 69: sit hoc discrimen inter gratiosos cives atque fortes, ut illi, etc., id. Balb. 21 fin.: sine ullo sexus discrimine, Suet. Calig. 8; cf.: rapti per agros viatores sine discrimine liberi servique, id. Aug. 32: omisso sui alicuique discrimine, Liv. 5, 55: divinarum humanarumque rerum, id. 5, 40: recti pravique, Quint. 12, 3, 7: vocum, id. 1, 5, 25; cf. so of the different tones of the strings: septem discrimina vocum, Verg. A. 6, 646 et saep.—Poet.: tenues parvi discriminis umbrae, i. e. of easy gradation, Ov. M. 6, 62.

In partic. 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.

Transf., a dangerous, decisive moment, crisis, dangerous condition; risk, danger, hazard: in ipso discrimine periculi aliquem destituere, Liv. 6, 17; so, periculi, id. 8, 24: in summo rem esse discrimine, * Caes. B. G. 6, 38, 2; cf.: adducta est res in maximum periculum et extremum pene discrimen, Cic. Phil. 7, 1: salus sociorum summum in periculum ac discrimen vocatur, id. de Imp. Pomp. 5, 12: in extremo discrimine ac dimicatione fortunae, id. Sull. 28: in veteris fortunae discrimen adducitur, id. Mur. 27, 55; cf.: aliquem in discrimen capitis adducere, id. Deiot. 1, 2; so, capitis, Quint. 11, 1, 49: si ei subito sit allatum periculum discrimenque patriae, Cic. Off. 1, 43, 154: rem publicam in discrimen committere, Liv. 8, 32; 33, 7; cf.: fuitque dies illa tenebrarum et discriminis, Vulg. Esth. 11, 8.