nex·​us ˈnek-səs How to pronounce nexus (audio)
plural nexuses ˈnek-sə-səz How to pronounce nexus (audio) or nexus ˈnek-səs How to pronounce nexus (audio)
: connection, link
the nexus between teachers and students
also : a causal link
the nexus between poverty and crime
: a connected group or series
a nexus of theories
a nexus of relationships
: center, focus
The bookstore has become something of a nexus for the downtown neighborhood.Jane Smiley

Did you know?

Nexus is all about connections. The word comes from nectere, a Latin verb meaning "to bind." A number of other English words are related to nectere. The most obvious is connect, but annex (meaning "to attach as an addition," or more specifically "to incorporate into a political domain") is related as well. When nexus came into English in the 17th century, it meant "connection." Eventually, it took on the additional meaning "connected series" (as in "a nexus of relationships"). In the past few decades it has taken a third meaning: "center" (as in "the trade nexus of the region"), perhaps from the notion that a point in the center of an arrangement serves to join together the objects that surround it.

Example Sentences

the oft-repeated claim that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person through a nexus of six relationships as the nexus for three great religions, Jerusalem has had a troubled as well as illustrious history
Recent Examples on the Web Cathie Wood’s research team at ARK Invest believes deep neural nets like ChatGPT, capable of mimicking human learning at exponential speeds, sit at the nexus of all major technological trends by revolutionizing productivity. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2023 At a nexus of physics and the imagination, each of these breakthroughs is a kind of shadow dance of the other, in that each inculcates, as a value, the idea that every individual exists within their own space-time continuum. William Benton, The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2023 Located at the nexus of Indian Creek Drive and Collins Avenue, the property will give residents stunning views of Downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 31 Jan. 2023 The case — which sits at the nexus of guns, mental health and public education in America — has brought out raw emotions in Newport News, a school district that serves about 26,600 students in southeastern Virginia. Sarah Mervosh, New York Times, 25 Jan. 2023 When Chris Cornell passed, Hawkins spoke out about seeing the grunge pioneer’s work as a nexus between prog rock, glam rock, and metal. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 1 Apr. 2022 Descalzi’s insistence on forming an EU-Africa energy nexus represents a dramatic expansion of the ongoing arrangements between the two continents. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 Kapoor situates her story in the broiling nexus of India’s economic and political development. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2022 For the same nexus was at play when democracy collapsed in interwar Europe. Thomas Weber, CNN, 16 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nexus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, from nectere to bind

First Known Use

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nexus was in 1663


Dictionary Entries Near nexus

Cite this Entry

“Nexus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


nex·​us ˈnek-səs How to pronounce nexus (audio)
plural nexuses -sə-səz How to pronounce nexus (audio) or nexus -səs, -ˌsüs How to pronounce nexus (audio)
: a connection or link
: a connected group or series

Legal Definition


nex·​us ˈnek-səs How to pronounce nexus (audio)
plural nexuses or nexus -səs, -ˌsüs How to pronounce nexus (audio)
: a connection or link between things, persons, or events especially that is or is part of a chain of causation

Latin, bond, tie, from nectere to bind

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