nexus

noun

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)
-ˌsüs
1
: connection, link
the nexus between teachers and students
also : a causal link
the nexus between poverty and crime
2
: a connected group or series
a nexus of theories
a nexus of relationships
3
: center, focus
The bookstore has become something of a nexus for the downtown neighborhood.Jane Smiley

Did you know?

If you’re unfamiliar with the word nexus, the popular, long-running video game series The Legend of Zelda may provide an object lesson in its several definitions (and if you’re unfamiliar with the games, we will explain). When nexus came into English in the 17th century, it meant “connection” or “link.” Eventually, people began using it to refer to a connected group or series of things, as in “a nexus of relationships.” In recent decades it has taken on a third meaning: “center” or “hub,” perhaps from the notion that a point in the center of an arrangement serves to join together the objects that surround it. Now, one might plausibly say that the 20 Zelda games (not counting remakes and spin-offs) themselves form a nexus, as each represents an installment in a long, twisty saga with numerous echoes and callbacks to other games in the series. Most of these feature the fictional land of Hyrule, which often presents magical nexuses to shadowy alternate dimensions (1991’s A Link to the Past), the past (2011’s Skyward Sword), or the underworld (2023’s Tears of the Kingdom) that the hero, Link (ahem) must traverse. As for nexus’s third meaning, Hyrule’s map is nearly always situated around a central nexus, or hub, in the form of the castle where the titular Zelda lives. (If you’re into gaming or curious about its lingo, don’t miss the article “Popular Gaming Terms Explained”).

Examples of nexus in a Sentence

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 The 2022-23 policy changes to the Middle Class Scholarship program created an important nexus with the Cal Grant program to serve students, said Shelveen Ratnam, a spokesman for the California Student Aid Commission. Vik Jolly, Sacramento Bee, 7 June 2024 People who exist not only at the nexus of multiple identities, but of multiple movements for liberation will be the ones to show us a way out of this darkness. Erika D. Smith, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2024 But campus protests over the Israel-Hamas war appear to be meeting it – at least at some schools, including New York's Columbia University, which has been the nexus of student activism and demands for college administrators to sever economic ties with Israel. Zachary Schermele, USA TODAY, 7 May 2024 To All Trains captures the nexus of serious/not serious that Shellac made their métier. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for nexus 

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

Etymology

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

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Dictionary Entries Near nexus

Cite this Entry

“Nexus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nexus. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

nexus

noun
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)
1
: a connection or link
2
: a connected group or series

Legal Definition

nexus

noun
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
Etymology

Latin, bond, tie, from nectere to bind

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