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Lewis : subtilis

subtilis, subtīlis, e, adj. sub-tela; and therefore, prop., woven fine; hence, fine, not thick or coarse, thin, slender, minute (syn. tenuis). Lit. (mostly poet. and in postAug. prose; not in Cic.): quae vulgo volitant subtili praedita filo, Lucr. 4, 88: ventus subtili corpore tenuis, id. 4, 901; cf. id. 3, 195; Cat. 54, 3: acies gladii, Sen. Ep. 76, 14: farina, Plin. 18, 7, 14, § 74: mitra, Cat. 64, 63: ignis, Lucr. 6, 225: subtilia et minuta primordia rerum, id. 4, 122; 4, 114.

Subst.: subtīlĭa, ĭum, n. plur., fine goods or stuffs, Vulg. Isa. 19, 9: indui te subtilibus, id. Ezech. 16, 10.—Comp.: harundo, Plin. 16, 36, 66, § 168: semen raporum, id. 18, 13, 34, § 129.—Sup.: sucus subtilissimus, Plin. 11, 5, 4, § 11.

Transf., of the senses, fine, nice, acute, delicate, exqui site (rare): palatum, Hor. S. 2, 8, 38: subtilior gula, Col. 8, 16, 4.

Trop., fine, nice, precise, exact, accurate, keen, subtle (class.; syn.: elegans, concinnus). In gen.: sollers subtilisque descriptio, Cic. N. D. 2, 47, 121: definitio, id. de Or. 1, 23, 109: observatio, Plin. 18, 13, 35, § 132: sententia, id. 18, 17, 46, § 165: argumentatio, id. 2, 108, 112, § 247: quaestio, id. 11, 16, 16, § 46: Graecia, Manil. 4, 718.—Comp.: reliquae (epistulae) subtiliores erunt, more particular, Cic. Att. 5, 14, 3.—Sup.: quae (curatio manus) inter subtilissimas haberi potest, Cels. 7, 7, 13: inventum, Plin. 31, 3, 23, § 40: Democritus, subtilissimus antiquorum, Sen. Q. N. 7, 3, 2.

Transf., of taste or judgment, fine, keen, delicate, exquisite (syn.: sagax, acutus): judicium, Cic. Fam. 15, 6, 1; Hor. Ep. 2, 1, 242; cf.: subtilis veterum judex, id. S. 2, 7, 101: sapiens subtilisque lector, Plin. Ep. 4, 14, 7: vir subtilis, dispositus, acer, disertus, id. ib. 2, 11, 17; 4, 17, 4.

In partic., in rhet., of speech or of the speaker, plain, simple, unadorned (syn. simplex): genus dicendi, Cic. Or. 21, 69; cf.: acutissimum et subtilissimum dicendi genus, id. de Or. 2, 23, 98: oratio, id. Or. 5, 20; cf. id. ib. 23, 78: Stoicorum non ignoras, quam sit subtile vel spinosum potius dicendi genus, id. Fin. 3, 1, 3: subtile quod ἰσχνὸν vocant, Quint. 12, 10, 58: disputator, Cic. Off. 1, 1, 3: quis illo (Catone) in docendo edisserendoque subtilior? id. Brut. 17, 65: oratione limatus atque subtilis, id. de Or. 1, 39, 180; cf. id. de Or. 3, 8, 31: Lysias subtilis scriptor atque elegans, id. Brut. 9, 35; Quint. 10, 1, 78: praeceptor, id. 1, 4, 25; 12, 10, 51.—Hence, adv.: subtīlĭter, finely, minutely. Lit.: subtiliter insinuatus ad parvas partes aër, Lucr. 6, 1031: conexae res, closely, intimately, id. 3, 739: dividere aliquid, Plin. 5, 12, 13, § 67: fodere, lightly, superficially, Pall. Febr. 21 fin.— Trop., finely, acutely, minutely, accurately, subtly. In gen.: subtiliter judicare, finely, acutely, Cic. Verr. 2, 4, 57, § 127: de re publicā quid ego tibi subtiliter? tota periit, minutely, particularly, id. Att. 2, 21, 1; cf.: haec ad te scribam alias subtilius, id. ib. 1, 13, 4: subtiliter exsequi numerum, Liv. 3, 5: de aliquā re subtiliter disserere, Cic. Fl. 17, 41: aliquid persequi, id. de Or. 1, 21, 98; cf.: id persequar subtilius, id. Rep. 2, 23, 42: subtilius haec disserunt, id. Lael. 5, 18: subtilius ista quaerunt, id. ib. 2, 7 et saep.

In partic., in rhet., plainly, simply, without ornament: humilia subtiliter et magna graviter et mediocria temperate dicere, Cic. Or. 29, 100: versute et subtiliter dicere, id. ib. 7, 22: privatas causas agere subtilius: capitis aut famae ornatius, id. Fam. 9, 21, 1: magnifice an subtiliter dicere, Quint. 8, 3, 40.