or Nes·sos

[nes-uh s]

noun Classical Mythology.

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nessus

Historical Examples of nessus

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for nessus



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