- 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 nemesis
The Third Reich met its nemesis as much here as it had—albeit in far greater numbers—at Stalingrad.The Deadly Trap Behind D-Day’s Beaches
June 5, 2014
Neither her name nor her nemesis are among the slurred words I can make out.My Night at the NSFW Oscars
January 22, 2014
The nemesis that emerges most potently is that of reality TV.Polar Explorer vs. Reality TV Crew: Tim Jarvis in the Footsteps of Shackleton
January 12, 2014
So watching him get abruptly fired in order to prove a point to nemesis Liz Lemon was heartbreaking.Pam Beesly, Kitty Sanchez & More TV Administrative Assistants (VIDEO)
April 24, 2013
Roth's sentences are so good, from Goodbye, Columbus to Nemesis, but the force and beauty of his late work merits special praise.Writers Pick Their Favorite Philip Roth Novel
The Daily Beast
December 18, 2012
He had not been made soft by the nemesis that laid him by the heels.
Yet she did not flinch in her certainty that nemesis must be obeyed and even aided.
There was the nemesis who didn't like youth to make such a fool of itself.
But Nemesis, swift and sudden, awaits the faithless Euphues.John Lyly
John Dover Wilson
Once arouse him, as he must now be aroused, and he will follow like a Nemesis on your trail.Frank Merriwell's Pursuit
Burt L. Standish
- Greek myth the goddess of retribution and vengeance
- (sometimes not capital) any agency of retribution and vengeance
Word Origin and History for nemesis
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.