Previous: mordaxNext: mordex


mordĕo, mŏmordi (archaic memordi; v. in the foll.), morsum, 2, v. a. [root smard-; Sanscr. mard-, bite; Gr. σμερδνός, σμερδαλέος; (cf. Engl. smart)], to bite, to bite into (class.).

I. Lit.: si me canis memorderit, Enn. ap. Gell. 7, 9, 3 (Sat. v. 36 Vahl.): canes mordere possunt, Cic. Rosc. Am. 20, 57: mordens pulex, biting, Mart. 14, 83: (serpens) fixum hastile momordit, bit into, Ov. M. 3, 68: mordeat ante aliquis quidquid, etc., taste, Juv. 6, 632: terram, to bite the ground, bite the dust, of expiring warriors writhing on the ground: procubuit moriens et humum semel ore momordit, Verg. A. 11, 418; Ov. M. 9, 61.—Part. as subst.: morsi a rabioso cane, Plin. 29, 5, 32, 100: laneaque aridulis haerebant morsa labellis, Cat. 64, 316.—

2. In partic., to eat, devour, consume (poet.): tunicatum cum sale mordens Caepe, Pers. 4, 30: ostrea, Juv. 6, 305: sordes farris mordere canini, id. 5, 11.—

B. Transf.

1. To bite into, take fast hold of, catch fast; to press or cut into (poet.): laterum juncturas fibula mordet, takes hold of, clasps, Verg. A. 12, 274: mordebat fibula vestem, Ov. M. 8, 318: id quod a lino mordetur, where the thread presses in, Cels. 7, 4, 4: locus (corporis), qui mucronem (teli) momordit, id. 7, 5, 4: arbor mordet humum, takes hold of the ground, is rooted in the ground, Stat. Th. 9, 499.—Hence, poet., of a river: non rura quae Liris quieta Mordet aqua, cuts or penetrates into, Hor. C. 1, 31, 7.—

2. To nip, bite, sting: matutina parum cautos jam frigora mordent, nips, attacks, Hor. S. 2, 6, 45: oleamque momorderit aestus, id. Ep. 1, 8, 5: mordeat et tenerum fortior aura nemus, Mart. 8, 14, 2: radix gustu acri mordet, bites, hurts, Plin. 27, 13, 109, 133: linguam, id. 29, 2, 9, 34: oculos, id. 21, 6, 17, 32: urtica foliis non mordentibus, stinging, burning, id. 22, 14, 16, 37.—

II. Trop., to bite, sting, pain, hurt (syn.: pungo, stimulo, remordeo; class.): invidere omnes mihi, Mordere clanculum, bit, stung, Ter. Eun. 3, 1, 21: morderi dictis, Ov. Tr. 1, 1, 25: jocus mordens, a biting jest, Juv. 9, 10: mordear opprobriis falsis, shall I be stung, vexed, Hor. Ep. 1, 16, 38: par pari referto, quod eam mordeat, to vex, mortify, Ter. Eun. 3, 1, 55: valde me momorderunt epistolae tuae, Cic. Att. 13, 12, 1: scribis, morderi te interdum, quod non simul sis, that it grieves you, affects you, id. ib. 6, 2, 8: dolore occulto morderi, to be attacked, tormented, Ov. M. 2, 806: nec qui detrectat praesentia, Livor iniquo Ullum de nostris dente momordit opus, detracted, id. Tr. 4, 10, 124; cf. id. P. 4, 14, 46: morderi conscientiā, to feel the sting of conscience, Cic. Tusc. 4, 20, 45: hunc mordebit objurgatio, Quint. 1, 3, 7.—

B. To seize fast, hold firmly in the mind (cf. mordicus, II.): hoc tene, hoc morde, Sen. Ep. 78, 29. —

C. To squander, dissipate: de integro patrimonio meo centum milia nummūm memordi, Laber. ap. Gell. 6, 9, 3 (Com. Rel. v. 50 Rib.).