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μάχαιρ-α [μᾰ], ας (later -ης, dat. -ῃ, PTeb.16.14 (ii B. C.), Ev.Luc.21.24, etc.), ἡ, large knife or dirk, Il.11.844, 18.597, 19.252; μ. ἥ οἱ πὰρ ξίφεος μέγα κουλεὸν αἰὲν ἄωρτο 3.271; carving-knife, Pi.O. 1.49, Hdt.2.61, Ar.Eq.489, Pl.R.353a, etc.; κοπίδες μ. E.Cyc.242; sacrificial knife, Ar.Pax 948, Pl.Com.91, Michel832.52 (Samos, iv B. C.):—
ἡ Δελφικὴ μ. a knife adapted to various purposes, Arist. Pol.1252b2, cf. Hsch. S1.v. Δελφικὴ μ.; prov., of greedy persons, because Delphian sacrificers claimed a share for the knife, App.Prov. 1.94.

2. as a weapon, short sword, dagger, Pi.N.4.59, Hdt.6.75, 7.225, Lys.13.87, etc.; an assassin's weapon, Antipho 5.69; used by jugglers, Pl.Euthd.294e (pl.), etc.; later, sabre, opp. the straight sword (ξίφος), X.Eq.12.11, cf. HG3.3.7, Cyr.1.2.13, Ev.Matt.26.52, etc.; οἱ ἐπὶ τῆς μ., of a bodyguard, Arr.Epict.1.30.7; but, ἐπὶ μ. τασσόμενοι possessing power of life and death (jus gladii), Cat.Cod. Astr.8(4).173; μ. ἱππική cavalry sabre, IG11(2).161 B99 (Delos, iii B. C.).

3. μ. κουρίδες, shears or scissors, Cratin.37; κεκαρμένος μοιχὸν μιᾶ μ., i.e. with one blade, Ar.Ach.849, cf. Poll.2.32 (where διπλῇ is f.l.), Hsch. S1.v. μιᾷ μαχαίρᾳ; μ. κουρικαί Plu.Dio9.

4. metaph., διὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ πυρός Zen.3.19, cf. Posidipp.1.10; μ. τοῦ πνεύματος Ep.Eph.6.17, cf. LXX Is.49.2.

II. name of a precious stone, Arist.Mir.847a5, Ps.-Plu.Fluv.10.5.

III. part of the liver, Ruf.Onom.180.