[ nem-uh-sis ]
See synonyms for nemesis on
noun,plural nem·e·ses [nem-uh-seez]. /ˈnɛm əˌsiz/.
  1. something that a person cannot conquer, achieve, etc.: The performance test proved to be my nemesis.

  2. an opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

  1. (initial capital letter)Classical Mythology. the goddess of divine retribution.

  2. an agent or act of retribution or punishment.

Origin of nemesis

<Latin <Greek némesis literally, a dealing out, verbid of némein to dispense (justice); see -sis

Other words for nemesis

Words Nearby nemesis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nemesis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Nemesis


/ (ˈnɛmɪsɪs) /

nounplural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
  1. Greek myth the goddess of retribution and vengeance

  2. (sometimes not capital) any agency of retribution and vengeance

Origin of Nemesis

C16: via Latin from Greek: righteous wrath, from némein to distribute what is due

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

Cultural definitions for Nemesis


[ (nem-uh-sis) ]

In classical mythology, the Greek goddess of vengeance.

Notes for Nemesis

By extension, a “nemesis” is an avenger. One's nemesis is that which will bring on one's destruction or downfall.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.