1 a : one that inflicts retribution or vengeance
b : a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent
2 a : an act or effect of retribution
b : a source of harm or ruin : curse
Did You Know?
Nemesis was the Greek goddess of vengeance, a deity who doled out rewards for noble acts and punishment for evil ones. The Greeks believed that Nemesis didn't always punish an offender immediately but might wait generations to avenge a crime. In English, nemesis originally referred to someone who brought a just retribution, but nowadays people are more likely to see animosity than justice in the actions of a nemesis.
"My nemesis was a young woman who, at the end of the film, had the honour of sending me to my doom at the bottom of a well. Her name meant nothing to me then: Jennifer Aniston." — Warwick Davis, Dailymail.com, 10 Apr. 2010
"The leaves were pale … and, upon closer inspection, the stems had small nibble marks on them. I immediately suspected slugs since they've been my nemesis in the past so I sprang into action." — Susan Mulvihill, The Spokesman Review (Spokane, Washington), 21 Aug. 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What 4-letter word begins with "b" and is a synonym of nemesis meaning "curse"?VIEW THE ANSWER
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