• nidus
  • audio pronunciation
  • \NYE-dus\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1
: a nest or breeding place; especially : a place or substance in an animal or plant where bacteria or other organisms lodge and multiply
2
: a place where something originates, develops, or is located
  • EXAMPLES

The neighborhood had long been a nidus of crime and vice, but community policing and other interventions have done much to reduce the crime rate in recent years.

"In paintings by Henri Matisse, Henri Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and abstract artist Irving Kriesberg (1919-2009), dancers become the nidus for inspiration and for expression." — From an abstract of an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, October 24, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Nidus" literally means "nest" in Latin, and some of its relatives in English suggest this connection in a straightforward way. For example, we have "nidification," for the process of building a nest, and "nidicolous," meaning "reared in a nest." But "nidus" itself, when used as an English word, is apt to refer to a place where bacteria lodge and multiply. Consequently, the extended use of "nidus" in English often has a negative connotation, referring to a source of undesirable opinions or behaviors.

Name That Synonym: Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "nidus": h_t_e_. The answer is …

  • MORE WORDS OF THE DAY

Visit our archives to see previous selections ยป

  • FEATURED ITEM FROM OUR STORE
  • PODCAST

Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

  • SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe to the Word of the Day e-mail

Manage Your Account