nadir was our Word of the Day on 06/30/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of nadir in a Sentence
Nantucket reached its nadir in the post-Civil War period. The whaling industry had become moribund, many New Englanders had been lured to California by the discovery of gold, and the island population dropped from ten thousand in 1830 to scarcely more than three thousand in 1880. —David H. Wood, Antiques, August 1995
But then, at the very nadir of that dark abandoned moment, that moment of despair and sickness unto death, … —T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville, 1993
My nadir was the time I presented an oral book report on “Les Misérables,” having read only the Classic Comics version … —Stephen Jay Gould, New York Times Book Review, 12 Oct. 1986
The relationship between the two countries reached a nadir in the 1920s.
the discussion really reached its nadir when people resorted to name-calling
Did You Know?
Nadir is part of the galaxy of scientific words that have come to us from Arabic, a language that has made important contributions in the vocabulary of mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and chemistry. Nadir derives from an Arabic word meaning "opposite"—the opposite, that is, of the zenith, or the highest point of the celestial sphere, the one vertically above the observer. (The word zenith itself is a modification of another Arabic word that means "the way over one's head.") The English poet John Donne is first on record as having used nadir in the figurative sense of "lowest point" in a sermon he wrote in 1627.
Origin and Etymology of nadir
Middle English, from Middle French, from Arabic naḍhīr opposite
First Known Use: 15th century
NADIR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nadir for English Language Learners
: the worst or lowest point of something
Seen and Heard
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