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sĕco, cŭi, ctum (part. fut. secaturus, Col. 5, 9, 2), 1, v. a. [root sak-, to cut; whence securis, sĕcula, serra (secra), segmen, sexus, saxum, etc.; cf. sīca, and Gr. κείω, κεάζω, σχίζω], to cut, cut off, cut up (class.; syn.: caedo, scindo).

I. Lit.

A. In gen.: leges duodecim tabularum, si plures forent, quibus rens esset judicatus, secare, si vellent, atque partiri corpus addicti sibi hominis permiserunt, Gell. 20, 1, 48 sq.; cf.: et judicatos in partes secari a creditoribus leges erant, Tert. Apol. 4: cape cultrum, seca Digitum vel aurem, Plaut. Merc. 2, 2, 38 sq.: omne animal secari ac dividi potest, nullum est eorum individuum, Cic. N. D. 3, 12, 29: pabulum secari non posse, be cut, mown, Caes. B. G. 7, 14; so, sectae herbae, Hor. S. 2, 4, 67: gallinam, to cut to pieces, Juv. 5, 124: placenta, Mart. 3, 77, 3: alicui collum gladio suā dexterā, Q. Cic. Petit. Cons. 3, 10: palatum, to divide, Cels. 8, 1: tergora in frusta, Verg. A. 1, 212: dona auro gravia sectoque elephanto, i. e. of carved, wrought ivory (an imitation of the Homeric πριστὸς ἐλέφας, Od. 18, 196), Verg. A. 3, 464: marmora, Hor. C. 2, 18, 17: sectis nitebat marmoribus, Luc. 10, 114; so absol.: nec ideo ferrum secandi vim non perdidit, Sen. Ben. 5, 5, 1: prave sectus unguis, Hor. Ep. 1, 104: secti lapides, Vulg. Exod. 20, 25. —

B. In partic.

1. Med. t. t., to cut surgically; to operate on; to cut off or out, amputate, excise, etc.: in corpore si quid ejusmodi est, quod reliquo corpori noceat, id uri secarique patimur, Cic. Phil. 8, 5, 15; cf.: saevitia secandi, Plin. 29, 1, 6, 13; so, membra, id. 26, 11, 69, 112: vomicam, Plaut. Pers. 2, 5, 13: varices Mario, Cic. Tusc. 2, 15, 35 (for which, exciditur, Cels. 7, 31); cf. of the same: C. Marius cum secaretur, ut supra dixi, principio vetuit se alligari; nec quisquam ante Marium solutus dicitur esse sectus, was cut, operated upon, Cic. Tusc. 2, 22, 53: servum, Just. Inst. 4, 3, 6.—

2. To cut, castrate (very rare): puer avari sectus arte mangonis, Mart. 9, 7, 4; so, sectus Gallus (corresp. to eviratus), id. 5, 41, 3.—

C. Transf. (mostly poet. and in post-Aug. prose).

1. To scratch, tear, wound, hurt, injure (cf. caedo, II.): ambo (postes) ab infimo tarmes secat, the worms are gnawing them, they are wormeaten, Plaut. Most. 3, 2, 140: luctantis acuto ne secer ungui, lest I should be torn, Hor. Ep. 1, 19, 47; cf.: rigido sectas invenit ungue genas, Ov. F. 6, 148: teneras plantas tibi (glacies), Verg. E. 10, 49: corpora vepres, id. G. 3, 444: crura (sentes), Ov. M. 1, 509: pete ferro Corpus et intorto verbere terga seca, cut, lacerate, Tib. 1, 9, 22; so, sectus flagellis, Hor. Epod. 4, 11: loris, Mart. 10, 5, 14 al.: si quem podagra secat, gnaws, torments, Cat. 71, 2; imitated by Martial: podagra cheragraque secatur Gaius, Mart. 9, 92, 9.—

2. Like the Gr. τέμνειν, and our to cut, i. e.,

a. To divide, cleave, separate (poet. and in post-Aug. prose): quos (populos) secans interluit Allia, Verg. A. 7, 717: medios Aethiopas (Nilus), Plin. 5, 9, 10, 53: medios agros (Tiberis), Plin. Ep. 5, 6, 12: medium agmen (Turnus), Verg. A. 10, 440: agrum (limes), Plin. 18, 34, 77, 331: caelum (zonae), Ov. M. 1, 46: sectus orbis, Hor. C. 3, 27, 75; cf.: in longas orbem qui secuere vias, Ov. Am. 2, 16, 16.—

b. With the idea of motion, to cut through, i. e. to run, sail, fly, swim, go, etc., through: delphinum similes, qui per maria umida nando Carpathium Libycumque secant, cut through, cleave, Verg. A.5, 595: aequor, id. ib. 5, 218: pontum, id. ib. 9, 103: aequor Puppe, Ov. M. 11, 479: fretum puppe, id. ib. 7, 1; cf.: vada nota (amnis), id. ib. 1, 370: ales avis ... geminis secat aëra pennis, Cic. Arat. 48: aethera pennis (avis), Verg. G. 1, 406; 1, 409: auras (cornus), id. A. 12, 268: ventos (Cyllenia proles), ib. ib. 4, 257: sub nubibus arcum (Iris), id. ib. 9, 15 et saep.— Secare viam (vias), the Gr. τέμνειν ὁδόν, to take one's way, to travel a road: ille viam secat ad naves, Verg. A. 6, 899: hinc velut diversae secari coeperunt viae, Quint. 3, 1, 14.—

II. Trop. (acc. to I. C. 1. and 2.).

A. To cut up, lash in speaking, i.e. to censure, satirize: secuit Lucilius Urbem, Pers. 1, 114.—

B. To divide (not freq. till after the Aug. per.): cum causas in plura genera secuerunt, Cic. de Or. 2, 27, 117: haec in plures partes, Quint. 8, 6, 13; cf.: scrupulose in partes sectā divisionis diligentiā, id. 4, 5, 6: quae natura singularia sunt secant (corresp. to divido), id. 4, 5, 25: sectae ad tenuitatem suam vires (just before: distinguendo. dividendo), id. 12, 2, 13.—Hence, in Hor., like dirimo (II.), of disputes, to cut off, i.e. to decide them: quo multae magnaeque secantur judice lites, Hor. Ep. 1, 16, 42: magnas res, to cure (as it were, by a light operation), id. S. 1, 10, 15.—And once in Verg.: secare spem (the figure borrowed from the phrases secare mare, auras, viam): quae cuique est fortuna hodie, quam quisque secat spem, whatever hope each follows, i. e. indulges in, entertains, Verg. A. 10, 107 (secat, sequitur, tenet, habet; ut: Ille viam secat ad naves, id. ib. 6, 899: unde et sectas dicimus, habitus animorum et instituta philosophiae circa disciplinam, Serv.).