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cancer, cri (gen. canceris, Lucr. 5, 616; Arn. 1, p. 30; acc. plur. canceres, Cato, R. R. 157, 3), m. (neutr. Claudius, Quadrig. ap. Prisc. p. 697 P.; Scrib. Comp. 206 and 240) [cf. καρκίνος; root kar-, to be hard; whence κάρυον, cornu], a crab, a river-crab, sea-crab.

I. Lit., Plin. 9, 31, 51, 97 sq.; 19, 10, 58, 180; Pall. 1, 35, 7; Ov. M. 15, 369; Plaut. Ps. 4, 1, 45; Verg. G. 4, 48; Col. 9, 5, 6: cancer femina, Plin. 32, 10, 46, 134; Pall. 1, 35, 7.—

B. Meton., hands that cling fast like the claws of crabs: Orci cancri, App. M. 6, p. 176, 26.—

II. As nom. propr., the Crab, the sign of the zodiac in which the sun is found at the time of the summer solstice, Lucr. 5, 616; Ov. M. 2, 83; 10, 127; id. F. 6, 727; Cic. N. D. 2, 43, 110; Luc. 10, 259; cf. Hyg. Astr. 2, 23; Macr. S. 1, 17 fin.; acc. to the fable, as an animal hostile to Hercules in the contest with the Lernœan hydra; cf. Hyg. l. l. Hence, Lernaeus, Col. 10, 313.—

B. Poet. for the region of the south, the south, Ov. M. 4, 625.—

C. To designate great or violent heat, Ov. M. 10, 127.—

III. In medicine, a crawling, eating, suppurating ulcer, malignant tumor, a cancer, Cels. 5, 26, 31; 6, 18, 3: malum immedicabile cancer, Ov. M. 2, 825; Cato, R. R. 157, 3; Claud. Quadrig. ap. Prisc. p. 697 P