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2017 Word of the Year

Nessus

or Nessos

[nes-uh s] /ˈnɛs əs/
noun, Classical Mythology.
1.
a centaur who, on attempting to seduce Deianira, the wife of Hercules, was shot by Hercules with a poisoned arrow. Before Nessus died, he gave to Deianira the poisoned tunic that ultimately caused Hercules' death.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Nessus
Historical Examples
  • The words stuck to him like the shirt of Nessus, lacerating his very spirit.

    Dr. Wortle's School

    Anthony Trollope
  • But responsibilities which had been lightly assumed clung like the shirt of Nessus.

    The River War Winston S. Churchill
  • He will never be able to tear off this Nessus' robe that eats into his vitals!

    Odette's Marriage Albert Delpit
  • There also is the hill Taphiassus, on which is the monument of Nessus, and of the other Centaurs.

  • I do not see why my hand should perform the office of the tunic of Nessus.

    Isabella Orsini

    Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi
  • And then she bethought herself of the tunic that Nessus had given her.

  • If it is money, it stings; if it is place and position, it becomes the shirt of Nessus.

    The Art of Entertaining

    M. E. W. Sherwood
  • Li´chas.Bearer of the Nessus robe;slain by Hercules, 236-238.

    Myths of Greece and Rome H. A. Guerber
  • The example of vice does not rankle in their breasts, like the poisoned shirt of Nessus.

    Winterslow William Hazlitt
  • Take it; would 'twere Nessus's shirt, for you and your poet's sake.

British Dictionary definitions for Nessus

Nessus

/ˈnɛsəs/
noun
1.
(Greek myth) a centaur that killed Hercules. A garment dipped in its blood fatally poisoned Hercules, who had been given it by Deianira who thought it was a love charm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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