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dē-fĭcĭo, fēci, fectum, 3 (perf. subj.: defexit, an old formula in Liv. 1, 24 fin., see below, no. III. fin. In the pass., besides the regular form deficior, ante- and postclass., once in Verg., Propert., and Livy, like fīo, eri: defit, Enn. ap. Cic. Tusc. 3, 19; Plaut. Mil. 4, 6, 46; Ter. Eun. 2, 2, 12; Lucr. 2, 1142; Verg. E. 2, 22; Prop. 1, 1, 34: deflunt, Gell. 20, 8, 5: defiat, Plaut. Men. 1, 4, 3; id. Rud. 4, 4, 63: defiet, Liv. 9, 11: defieri, Ter. Hec. 5, 2, 2; cf. conficio init.), v. a. and n. [facio], orig., to loosen, set free, remove from; but it passed over at a very early period into the middle sense, to loosen from one's self, to remove one's self, to break loose from; and then gradually assumed the character of a new verb. act., with the meaning to leave, desert, depart from something, or absol., to depart, cease, fail. (For syn. cf.: desum, absum, descisco, negligo.)

I. Act. in the middle sense, to remove one's self, separate one's self, to withdraw (cf. the Greek ἀφιστάναι).—Hence, to forsake, desert, abandon, revolt.

A. Lit.: ab amicitia P. R., Caes. B. G. 5, 3, 3; 7, 39, 3: ab Aeduis, id. ib. 2, 14, 3: ab rege, Sall. J. 56, 3; cf. ib. 66: (consules) a senatu, a republica, a bonis omnibus defecerant, Cic. Planc. 35; cf.: a republica, id. Cat. 11, 28; id. Fam. 12, 10; id. Sull. 12, 35: ab imperio ac nomine nostro, id. Verr. 2, 1, 31 et saep.: a patribus ad plebem, to go over, Liv. 6, 20: ad se, Sall. J. 61; cf.: ad Poenos, Liv. 22, 61.—Absol.: civitates quae defecerant, Caes. B. G. 3, 17, 2; 5, 25, 4; 7, 10 al.

B. Trop.: si a virtute defeceris, forsake, Cic. Lael. 11, 37: si utilitas ab amicitia defecerit, id. Fin. 2, 24, 79: ut a me ipse deficerem, id. Fam. 2, 16.—Hence,

II. As a verb. act., to leave a person or thing, to desert, to fail, forsake, be wanting to (of things; very rarely of personal subjects): quem jam sanguis viresque deficiunt, Caes. B. G. 7, 50 fin.; so, vires, id. B. C. 3, 99 fin.; Cic. de Or. 1, 45, 199: me Leontina civitas, id. Verr. 2, 3, 46, 110; id. ib. 2, 5, 28 fin.; Hor. S. 2, 1, 13 et saep.: res eos jam pridem, fides deficere nuper coepit, Cic. Cat. 2, 5, 10: me dies, vox, latera deficiant, si, etc., id. Verr. 2, 2, 21 (imitated word for word, Plin. Ep. 3, 9, 9); cf.: ne te de republica disserentem deficiat oratio, Cic. Rep. 1, 23; and: tempus te citius quam oratio deficeret, id. Rosc. Am. 32: animus si te non deficit aequus, Hor. Ep. 1, 11, 30: somnus sollicitas domus, Tib. 3, 4, 20: genitor Phaethontis orbem, i. e. is eclipsed (cf. III. B. infra), Ov. M. 2, 382.—Poet. with a subject-clause: nec me deficiet nautas rogitare citatos, i. e. I will not cease, etc. Prop. 1, 8, 23 Kuin.—

b. Pass.: cum aquilifer jam viribus deficeretur, Caes. B. C. 3, 64, 3; cf.: mulier a menstruis defecta, Cels. 2, 8 fin.: mulier abundat audacia, consilio et ratione deficitur, Cic. Clu. 65, 184: aqua ciboque defecti, Quint. 3, 8, 23; Plin. Ep. 2, 17, 25: sanguine defecti artus, Ov. M. 5, 96 et saep.: si qui dotem promisit defectus sit facultatibus, i. e. unable to pay, Dig. 23, 3, 33; cf.: te defecta nomina, ib. 22, 1, 11 fin.

III. Middle or neuter, to run out, be wanting, fail, cease, disappear.

A. Middle (mostly ante-class. and poet.).

(a). With dat.: mihi fortuna magis nunc defit, quam genus, Enn. ap. Cic. Tusc. 3, 19; Ter. Hec. 5, 2, 2: lac mihi non aestate novum, non frigore defit, Verg. E. 2, 22.—

(b). Absol.: neque opsonium defiat neque supersit, Plaut. Men. 1, 4, 3; so opp. superesse, Ter. Ph. 1, 3, 10: ut defiat dies, Plaut. Rud. 4, 4, 63: id. Mil. 4, 6, 46: numquamne causa defiet, cur? etc., Liv. 9, 11.—Trop.: defectis (sc. animo) defensoribus, disheartened, Caes. B. C. 3, 40, 3: sed non usque eo defectum Germanicum, weakened, Tac. A. 2, 70; cf. in the foll. no. B. β.—

B. Neuter.

(a). With dat. (so rarely; mostly poet.): cum non solum vires, sed etiam tela nostris deficerent, Caes. B. G. 3, 5, 1; so perh.: vires nostris, id. B. C. 2, 41, 7 (al. nostros); Sil. 8, 661 Oud. N. cr.; cf. id. 10, 10, 193; and Stat. Ach. 1, 445.—

(b). Absol. (freq. in all periods and kinds of composition): non frumentum deficere poterat, Caes. B. C. 2, 37 fin.; cf.: fructus ex arboribus, id. ib. 3, 58 fin.: ejus generis copia, id. B. G. 6, 16 fin.: tempus anni ad bellum gerendum, id. ib. 4, 20, 2: vereor, ne mihi crimina non suppeterent, ne oratio deesset, ne vox viresque deficerent, Cic. Verr. 2, 1, 11: nisi memoria forte defecerit, id. Fin. 2, 14, 44; id. Rep. 1, 3: non deficiente crumena, Hor. Ep. 1, 4, 11 et saep.; Juv. 11, 38: quod plena luna defecisset, was eclipsed, Cic. Rep. 1, 15; cf.: solem lunae oppositum solere deficere, id. ib. 1, 16 al.; also simply to set: qua venit exoriens, qua deficit, Prop. 4, 4, 27: lunā deficiente, waning (opp. crescente), Gell. 20, 8, 5; of fire and light, to go out, expire, become extinct: ignis, Verg. G. 352: lumen, Petr. 111, 4: progenies Caesarum in Nerone deficit, becomes extinct, dies out, Suet. Galb. 1; cf. Plin. Pan. 39, 6; Just. 7, 2, 4; Sen. Suas. 2, 22; but deficit ignis, does not extend, Verg. A. 2, 505: in hac voce defecit, he departed, expired, Suet. Aug. 99; Quint. 6 prooem. 11: deficit omne quod nascitur, comes to an end, Quint. 5, 10, 79; cf.: mundum deficere, id. ib.: deficit vita, Plaut. Asin. 3, 3, 19; quod multi Gallicis tot bellis defecerant, had been lost, Caes. B. C. 3, 2 fin.: ultima jam passi comites bello Deficiunt, grow faint, Ov. M. 14, 483: deficit Matho, fails, becomes bankrupt, Juv. 7, 129: debitores, Dig. 49, 14, 3, 8: munimenta defecerant, yielded, surrendered, Curt. 4, 4, 19.—Trop.: ne negotio desisteret neu animo deficeret, nor be disheartened, Caes. B. C. 3, 112 fin.; so, animo, id. B. G. 7, 30; id. B. C. 1, 19; 2, 43; Cic. Rosc. Am. 4, 10; for which, ne deficiant (apes) animum, Varr. R. R. 3, 16, 34; and in a like sense absol.: ne una plaga accepta patres conscripti conciderent, ne deficerent, Cic. Att. 1, 16, 9; so Caes. B. C. 2, 31 fin.; Sall. J. 51, 4: deficit ars, Ov. M. 11, 537: illis legibus populus Romanus prior non deficiet: si prior defexit publico consilio dolo malo, tu illo die, Juppiter, etc., to depart from, violate the conditions of a treaty, an old formula used in taking an oath, Liv. 1, 24 fin.: pugnando deficere, i. e. to be deficient, wanting, Caes. B. C. 2, 6, 3; cf. poet. with foll. inf.: suppeditare Materies, Lucr. 1, 1039; Sil. 3, 112; Tib. 4, 1, 191.— Hence, dēfectus, a, um, P. a. (acc. to no. III.), weak, weakened, worn out, enfeebled (not ante-Aug.): quod sibi defectis illa tulisset opem, Ov. F. 3, 674: defectus annis et desertus viribus, Phaedr. 1, 21, 3; cf.: defectissimus annis et viribus, Col. 1 prooem. 12: senio (arbor), id. 5, 6, 37: laboribus, Val. Fl. 2, 285: vadit incerto pede, jam viribus defecta, Sen. Hippol. 374: defectae senectutis homine, Dig. 7, 1, 12, 3: in tumidis et globosis (speculis) omnia defectiora (corresp. with paria and auctiora), smaller, App. Mag. p. 283.—Plur. subst.: dēfecti, ōrum, m.: sidera obscura attributa defectis, the weak, Plin. 2, 8, 6, 28.