- something that a person cannot conquer, achieve, etc.: The performance test proved to be my nemesis.
- an opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
- (initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. the goddess of divine retribution.
- an agent or act of retribution or punishment.
Origin of nemesis
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for nemeses
And Zuckerberg and his friends did routinely refer to their nemeses as "the Winklevii."What's True in the Facebook Movie
September 30, 2010
Again, the nemeses have a further emphasis given to them by prophecy.
At Smyrna, where the population was very mixed, Pausanias mentions two Nemeses.The World of Homer
Again, in that which gives artistic character to the reaction and the retribution the two nemeses differ.
- Greek myth the goddess of retribution and vengeance
- (sometimes not capital) any agency of retribution and vengeance
Word Origin and History for nemeses
1570s, Nemesis, "Greek goddess of vengeance, personification of divine wrath," from Greek nemesis "just indignation, righteous anger," literally "distribution" (of what is due), related to nemein "distribute, allot, apportion one's due," from PIE root *nem- "to divide, distribute, allot, to take" (cf. Old English, Gothic niman "to take," German nehmen; see nimble). With a lower-case -n-, in the sense of "retributive justice," attested from 1590s. General sense of "anything by which it seems one must be defeated" is 20c.
In classical mythology, the Greek goddess of vengeance.