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cŏ-ercĕo, cui, cĭtum, 2, v. a. [arceo], to enclose something on all sides or wholly, to hold together, to surround, encompass: qui (mundus) omnia complexu suo coërcet et continet, Cic. N. D. 2, 22, 58; cf. id. ib. 2, 40, 101; Ov. M. 1, 31: quā circum Galli lorica coërcet, where the Gallic coat of mail encloses, Lucr. 6, 954; cf. of a band holding the hair together, Ov. M. 1, 477; 2, 413; Hor. C. 2, 19, 19; 1, 10, 18: est animus vitaï claustra coërcens, holding together the bands of life, Lucr. 3, 396.—

B. Esp. with the access. idea of hindering free motion by surrounding; to restrain, confine, shut in, hold in confinement, repress (freq. and class.): (amnis) nullis coërcitus ripis, Liv. 21, 31, 11; cf. Ov. M. 1, 342: (aqua) jubetur ab arbitro coërceri, to be kept in, repressed, Cic. Top. 9, 39 (cf., just before, the more usual arcere, v. arceo, II.); Dig. 43, 22, 1, 6 and 8; 47, 11, 10: impetum aquarum, Curt. 8, 13, 9.—Of pruning plants: vitem serpentem multiplici lapsu et erratico, ferro amputans coërcet ars agricolarum, Cic. Sen. 15, 52; so of the vine, Col. 3, 21, 7; 4, 1, 5; Quint. 9, 4, 5; cf. id. 8, 3, 10.—Hence, sacrum (lucum), to trim, clip, Cato, R. R. 139: quibus (operibus) intra muros coërcetur hostis, Liv. 5, 5, 2: (mortuos) noviens Styx interfusa coërcet, Verg. A. 6, 439; cf.: Tantalum atque Tantali Genus coërcet (Orcus), Hor. C. 2, 18, 38: carcere coërcere animalia, Plin. 10, 50, 72, 141: Hypermnestra ... gravibus coërcita vinclis, Ov. H. 14, 3; cf.: eos morte, exsilio, vinclis, damno coërcent, Cic. Off. 3, 5, 23: aliquem custodiā, Dig. 41, 1, 3, 2: Galliae Alpibus coërcitae, Plin. 12, 1, 2, 5: miles coërcitus in tot receptis ex potestate hostium urbibus, Liv. 36, 24, 7.—Poet.: Messapus primas acies, postrema coërcent Tyrrhidae juvenes, hold together, i. e. command, lead on, Verg. A. 9, 27.—

II. Trop.,

A. Of discourse, to keep within limits, control, confine, restrain, limit (syn.: contineo, cohibeo): ut (nos) quasi extra ripas diffluentes coërceret, Cic. Brut. 91, 316; cf. id. Fin. 2, 1, 3; Quint. 12, 1, 20; 9, 2, 76; 10, 4, 1; and, the figure taken from bridling or curbing horses (cf.: frenisque coërcuit ora, Ov. M. 5, 643; and: spumantiaque ora coërcet, id. ib. 6, 226): exsultantia, Quint. 10, 4, 1; cf. id. 10, 3, 10: Augustus addiderat consilium coercendi intra terminos imperii, Tac. A. 1, 11.—Of words bound by measure: numeris verba coërcere, Ov. P. 4, 8, 73.—But most freq.,

B. Morally, to hold some fault, some passion, etc., or the erring or passionate person in check, to curb, restrain, tame, correct, etc. (syn.: contineo, cohibeo, refreno, reprimo, domo): cupiditates, Cic. de Or. 1, 43, 194; Quint. 12, 2, 28: temeritatem, Cic. Tusc. 2, 21, 47: improbitatem, id. Verr. 2, 3, 89, 208: rabiem gentis, Liv. 41, 27, 4: faenus, id. 32, 27, 3: procacitatem hominis manibus, Nep. Timol. 5, 2: suppliciis delicta, Hor. S. 1, 3, 79 al.: aliquid poenae aut infamiae metu, Cic. Fin. 2, 22, 73: omnibus modis socios atque cives, Sall. C. 29 fin.: genus hominum neque beneficio, neque metu coërcitum, id. J. 91, 7: duabus coërcitis gentibus, Liv. 31, 43, 4; 39, 32, 11; Caes. B. C. 1, 67: verberibus potius quam verbis, Varr. R. R. 1, 17, 5; so Cic. Cat. 1, 1, 3; id. Off. 3, 5, 23; v. A. supra: pueros fuste, Hor. S. 1, 3, 134; Tac. G. 25: incensum ac flagrantem animum, id. Agr. 4: licentiam, id. H. 1, 35.—Poet.: carmen, quod non Multa dies et multa litura coërcuit, corrected, finished, Hor. A. P. 293.