ni·​dus | \ ˈnī-dəs How to pronounce nidus (audio) \
plural nidi\ ˈnī-​ˌdī How to pronounce nidi (audio) \ or niduses

Definition of nidus

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

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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.

Examples of nidus in a Sentence

a type of contact lens that proved to be a nidus of infection

First Known Use of nidus

1734, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nidus

New Latin, from Latin

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The first known use of nidus was in 1734

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Cite this Entry

“Nidus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for nidus


ni·​dus | \ ˈnī-dəs How to pronounce nidus (audio) \
plural nidi\ -​ˌdī How to pronounce nidi (audio) \ or niduses

Medical Definition of nidus

: a place where something originates or is fostered or develops specifically : the point of origin or focus of an infection or disease process

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