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dē-clīno, āvi, ātum, 1, v. a. and n. [CLINO = κλίνω], orig. to bend from the straight path; to turn aside or away (freq. and class.).

I. Lit.

a. Act.: ego modo declinavi paullum me extra viam, Plaut. Aul. 4, 8, 11; cf.: sese rectā regione viai, Lucr. 2, 250; and: se a terris omnia numina, Poët. ap. Suet. Aug. 70: lumina, Catull. 64, 91: agmen, Liv. 1, 28; 36, 23: nares in alteram partem, Cels. 8, 5.—Poet. of the eyes, to bend down, i. e. to lower, close them in sleep: nec dulci declinat lumina somno, Verg. A. 4, 185.—

b. Neutr.: paulum ad dexteram de via declinavi, ut ad Pericli sepulcrum accederem, Cic. Fin. 5, 2, 5; id. Att. 14, 17, 2; Liv. 38, 20, 8.—So of the oblique motion of atoms (corresp. with oblique ferri): si omnes atomi declinabunt, nullae umquam cohaerescent; sive aliae declinabunt, aliae suo nutu recte ferentur, etc., Cic. Fin. 1, 6, 19 sq.; cf. id. Fat. 9, 18 (preceded by cur Epicurus atomos de via deducat): quae nova causa in natura est, qua declinet atomus? 20, 46 (the reading quae declinet atomum is wrong), id. N. D. 1, 25.—

II. Trop.

A. In gen.

a. Act., to turn aside: neque (mulierem) declinatam quicquam ab aliarum ingenio ullam reperias, who has departed, deviated, Ter. Hec. 2, 1, 3; cf.: quaedam verborum flgurae paulum figuris sententiarum declinantur, Quint. 9, 3, 88; id. 10, 3, 33: neque spe, neque metu declinatus animus, id. 12, 1, 16: Cato literas Graecas aetate jam declinata didicit, in the decline of life, id. 12, 11, 23. —

b. Neutr., to turn aside, deviate, turn away: de via, Cic. Lael. 17; cf.: de statu suo, id. Clu. 38, 106: a religione officii, id. Verr. 2, 3, 1: a malis (opp. appetere bona), id. Tusc. 4, 6, 13: a parvis delictis diligentius, id. Off. 1, 40 fin.: aliquantulum a proposito, id. Or. 40, 138: a recto itinere (oratio), Quint. 4, 3, 14 al.: gemma paulum declinans a topazio in aurum, passing, Plin. 37, 8, 34, 113: ut eo revocetur unde huc declinavit oratio, digressed, Cic. de Or. 2, 38; cf. id. Leg. 1, 21 fin.: quantum in Italiam declinaverat belli, Liv. 28, 1: in asperam Pholoen, Hor. Od. 1, 33, 7: in pejus, Quint. 10, 2, 16: ad discendum jus, Quint. 12, 3, 9; cf. id. 7, 2, 30.—Absol.: declinasse me paululum et praesentes fluctus fugisse, Cic. Sest. 34: paulatim amor, decreases, Ov. M. 9, 460: dies coeperat declinare, Vulg. Luc. 9, 12. —

B. In partic. grammat. t. t., to vary, inflect a part of speech.

1. In the older grammarians, of every kind of inflection (declension, conjugation, comparison, derivation, etc.), Varr. L. L. 8, 2 sq.; 10, 11 sq.; cf. also Quint. 1, 4, 22; 1, 5, 63 al.

2. In the later grammarians, to decline, in the strict sense, Charis, p. 8 sq. et al. —

C. Transf., with an object denoting that from which one turns aside; to avoid, to shun (classical, most freq. in Cic.); nec satis recte (oratio) declinat impetum, nisi etiam in cedendo quid deceat intellegit, Cic. Or. 68, 228; cf., corresp. with vitare, id. Att. 8, 11, D. fin.; and: ictum, Liv. 42, 63, 4: urbem, Cic. Planc. 41: laqueos judicii, id. Mil. 15, 40: appetuntur quae secundum naturam sunt, declinantur contraria, id. N. D. 3, 13, 33: vitia, id. Off. 1, 6, 19: ea quae nocitura videantur, id. ib. 1, 4; cf. Tac. A. 13, 4: invidiam, id. H. 4, 41 fin.; Suet. Caes. 4: impudicitiam uxoris, Tac. A. 6, 51: oppida ut busta, Amm. 16, 2, 12.