encyclopaedia

acer

1. ăcer, ĕris, n. [kindred with Germ. Ahorn] (f. Serv. ap. Prisc. p. 698 P.),

I. the maple-tree, Plin. 16, 15, 26, § 66 sq.
II. Transf., the wood of the maple-tree, maplewood, used, on account of its hardness and firmness, for writing-tablets, Plin. 33, 11, 52, § 146; Ov. Am. 1, 11, 28.

2. ācer, cris, cre, adj. (m. acris, Enn.; f. acer, Naev. and Enn.; acrus, a um, Pall.; Veg.; cf. Charis. 63 and 93 P.) [cf. ἀκίς, ἀκών, άκμή, ἄκρος, ὠκύς, ὀξύς; Sanscr. acan = dart, acus = swift; Germ. Ecke; Engl. edge, to egg; and with change of quantity, ăcus, acuo, ăceo, ăcies, ăcerbus], sharp, pointed, piercing, and the like.

I. Prop., of the senses and things affecting them, sharp, dazzling, stinging, pungent, fine, piercing: praestans valetudine, viribus, formā, acerrimis integerrimisque sensibus, Cic. Tusc. 5, 15, 45. So,
a. Of the sight: acerrimus sensus videndi, Cic. de Or. 2, 87, 357: acres oculi, id. Planc. 27: splendor, Lucr. 4, 304: quidam colores ruboris acerrimi, Sen. Q. N. 1, 14 al.
b. Of the hearing: voce increpet acri? Lucr. 3, 953: aurium mensura, quod est acrius judicium et certius, Cic. de Or. 3, 47: acrem flammae sonitum, Verg. G. 4, 409: acri tibiā, Hor. C. 1, 12, 1.
c. Of smell, Lucr. 4, 122: exstinctum lumen acri nidore offendit nares, id. 6, 792; cf. ib. 1216: unguentis minus diu delectemur summa et acerrima suavitate conditis, quam his moderatis, Cic. de Or. 3, 25, 99: odor, Plin. 12, 17, 40.
d. Of taste: ut vitet acria, ut est sinapi, cepa, allium, Var. ap. Non. 201, 13: acres humores, sharp juices, Cic. N. D. 2, 23: lactuca innatat acri stomacho, an acid stomach, Hor. S. 2, 4, 59; cf. ib. 2, 8, 7: dulcibus cibis acres acutosque miscere, Plin. Ep. 7, 3 al.
e. Of sensation in its widest extent: aestatem auctumnus sequitur, post acer hiems fit, sharp, severe, Enn. ap. Prisc. p. 647 P. (Ann. v. 406 ed. Vahl.—cf. Lucr. 3, 20; 4, 261); and so Hor.: solvitur acris hiems, C. 1. 4, 1.
B. Of the internal states of the human system, violent, sharp, severe, gnawing: fames, Naev. ap. Prisc. l. l. (B. Punic. p. 18 ed. Vahl.): somnus, Enn. ap. Prisc. l. l. (Ann. v. 369): morbus, Plaut. Men. 5, 2, 119: dolor, Lucr. 6, 650: sitis, Tib. 1, 3, 77 al.
II. Of the states of mind: violent, vehement, passionate, consuming: mors amici subigit, quae mihi est senium multo acerrimum, Att. ap. Non. 2, 22: acri ira percitus, Lucr. 5, 400: cf. 3, 312; 6, 754 (on the contrary, 5, 1194: iras acerbas): acres curae, Lucr. 3, 463, and Var. ap. Non. 241: luctus, ib. 87: dolor, Verg. A. 7, 291: metus, Lucr. 6, 1211; Verg. A. 1, 362: amor, Tib. 2, 6, 15: acrior ad Venerem cupido, Curt. 6, 5 al. (Among unpleasant sensations, acer designates a piercing, wounding by sharpness; but acerbus the rough, harsh, repugnant, repulsive.)
B. Applied to the intellectual qualities, subtle, acute, penetrating, sagacious, shrewd: acrem irritat virtutem animi, Lucr. 1, 70: acri judicio perpende, id. 2, 1041: memoria, strong, retentive, Cic. de Or. 2, 87: vir acri ingenio, id. Or. 5; cf. id. Sest. 20 al.
C. Applied to moral qualities.
1. In a good sense, active, ardent, eager, spirited, brave, zealous: milites, Cic. Cat. 2, 10: civis acerrimus, an ardent patriot, id. Fam. 10, 28: defensor, id. ib. 1, 1: studio acriore esse, id. de Or. 1, 21: jam tum acer curas venientem extendit in annum rusticus, Verg. G. 2, 405 al.
2. In a bad sense, violent, hasty, hot, passionate, fierce, severe (very freq.): uxor acerrima, enraged, angry, Plaut. Merc. 4, 4, 56; Ter. Ph. 2, 1, 32: dominos acres, Lucr. 6, 63; Nep. Tim. 3, 5; cf. Bremi Nep. Eum. 11, 1. Also, of animals, Lucr. 4, 421; 5, 860; Verg. A. 4, 156; Hor. Epod. 12, 6; 2, 31; Nep. Eum. 11, 1.
D. Of abstract things (mostly poet.), Ter. Ph. 2, 2, 32: egestas, Lucr. 3, 65: poenas, id. 6, 72: impetus, ib. 128; 392: acerrimum bellum, Cic. Balb. 6: nox acerrima atque acerbissima, id. Sull. 18: acrius supplicium, id. Cat. 1, 1; in Quint.: acres syllabae, which proceed from short to long, 9, 4.
Acer is constr. with abl., and also (esp. in the histt. of the silv. age) with gen., Vell. 1, 13; Tac. H. 2, 5 al.; cf. Ramsh. § 107, 6 note. With in, Cic. Fam. 8, 15; with inf., Sil. 3, 338.
Adv.: ācrĭter, sharply, strongly, vehemently, eagerly, zealously, etc., in all the signif. of the adj., Plaut. Cist. 1, 1, 110; id. Ps. 1, 3, 39; Lucr. 6, 783; Cic. Tusc. 1, 30 al.
Comp., Lucr. 3, 54; 5, 1147; Hor. S. 2, 3, 92; Tac. A. 6, 45; 13, 3.
Sup., Cic. Fl. 11; id. Fam. 10, 28; 15, 4.
Also, ācre, Sall. Fragm. ap. Non. p. 132, 25; App. M. 10, 32; and perh. Pers. 4, 34.

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