Main definitions of nemesis in US English:

: nemesis1Nemesis2

nemesis1

nounPlural nemeses

  • 1The inescapable agent of someone's or something's downfall.

    ‘the balance beam was the team's nemesis, as two gymnasts fell from the apparatus’
    • ‘Have I finally met my nemesis, the IT problem that I'm too old to understand?’
    • ‘And that's where John meets his destiny and Jeremy his nemesis.’
    • ‘I successfully cursed a nemesis in junior high - he probably deserved it, but the fact that it worked was very alarming.’
    • ‘Though some decidedly comic things had happened to her recently, Lincoln purported to persuade herself that the lord almighty had a little more tact than to conjure such a predictable fate for her nominated nemesis.’
    • ‘The same goes for Mr. Belding, who clearly welcomed the chance to follow his nemesis across 2000 miles and begin a new life with his wife.’
    • ‘The bad guys again break one of the cardinal rules for being an evil nasty: When you have the chance to kill your nemesis, do it!’
    • ‘Our arch nemesis, Fusion, only had two people on their team, but we weren't taking any chances.’
    • ‘But perhaps not armed enough for an older, stronger Cuban team, which had proved its nemesis previously.’
    • ‘He was contemplating a comeback recently when offered a place in the German Davis Cup team by his old nemesis Stich.’
    • ‘But an old nemesis - control problems - has plagued him.’
    • ‘The Zambia under-20 soccer team takes on Egypt in an African Youth qualifying round first leg in Chingola today seeking revenge against a team that has been their nemesis.’
    • ‘However, when I arrived back at the counter with my CDs, my nemesis was standing to one side, and a cheerful Canadian guy was on the till.’
    • ‘If the stick is pressed toward her foe, Nina will vault over the head of her nemesis, allowing her to strike from behind.’
    • ‘Imagine a cartoon hero in an impossible predicament as the scene switches to his nemesis; menacing, manic laughter bellowing out.’
    • ‘Eileen sets her sights on Mr Nail from the off but Gail, who sees a chance to put the disastrous romance with serial killer Richard Hillman behind her, soon finds a way to scupper her nemesis's chances.’
    • ‘The triple axel remains his nemesis, sometimes disappearing when he needs it the most.’
    • ‘The title explains a lot - a dishonoured soccer champ wants to assemble and coach a winning team to confront his nemesis, while mouthy yet impecunious martial artist Sing wants to spread the word of kung fu.’
    • ‘Arrows have proven the nemesis of most teams visiting Durban and have established themselves as a formidable outfit.’
    • ‘‘Truth Teams,’ which scout the parking lots to locate the targeted signature gatherers, are having less luck spotting their nemeses.’
    • ‘I left the room, disappointed with my form and my wimpy nemesis got up and made his way over the machine to play.’
    1. 1.1 A long-standing rival; an archenemy.
      ‘will Harry Potter finally defeat his nemesis, Voldemort?’
      • ‘I offered coffee to anyone who came in the office, including my nemesis, Mr. Coffee Man.’
      • ‘It was the fact that Tarantino's sword-wielding warriors and their nemeses were women.’
      • ‘Unsure of himself, Guy spoiled for a decisive battle with the Crusader nemesis, Saladin.’
      • ‘The boy turns out to be his future nemesis, Draco Malfoy.’
      • ‘Every platforming hero has to have his or her arch nemesis, and generally speaking, at least in the old days, these arch nemeses were evil versions of the aforementioned hero.’
      • ‘After the defeat of their old arch nemesis, The Shredder, the Turtles have grown apart as a family.’
      • ‘Throughout the novel Doc remains loyal to his male characters, even the Weasel, his professed nemesis.’
      • ‘Perhaps he feels he can now forgive his old nemesis the Bishop of Rome.’
      • ‘Sonic's arch nemesis Dr. Robotnik has been banished from the Land of Darkness by an evil Metal Robotnik.’
      • ‘It's a classic example of bad plotting when you have a golden opportunity to destroy your nemesis but you let him live.’
      • ‘My nemesis is approaching, my greatest foe.’
      • ‘The violent nemesis just happens to be played by a shapely, smoldering brunette TV entertainment reporter named… Maria Menounos.’
      • ‘Now, Archer is trapped in prison, and Castor now played by Travolta assumes the identity of his nemesis, frees his brother, and takes his place as a high-ranking federal agent.’
      • ‘Ironically, when the teeth of the plot sink in, the introduction of the supernatural nemesis, Ghost Machine begins to lag.’
      • ‘In the show I have my friends and everything, but I also have a nemesis.’
      • ‘His old nemesis, Twink (Chris Haywood), is a cop ready to retire.’
      • ‘The Powerpuff Girls must face their nemeses the Gangrene Gang when the teenaged baddies are sent back to school at Pokey Oaks Kindergarten.’
      • ‘In the comments on the post below, Alex refers to Bugs Meany who, as some of you may recall, is Encyclopedia Brown's arch nemesis.’
      • ‘As in Spider-Man 3, Shrek is still dealing with a not very interesting nemesis from the last film, Prince Charming.’
      arch-enemy, arch-rival, enemy, rival, foe, adversary, opponent, antagonist, combatant, challenger
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A downfall caused by an inescapable agent.
      ‘one risks nemesis by uttering such words’
      • ‘In all the best blockbusters, when disaster has dawned and nemesis looks likely by breakfast, there appears in the script a snowy-haired elder.’
      • ‘Nor is nemesis, the overpowering sense of eventual destruction, far from the political lives of these players.’
      downfall, undoing, ruin, ruination, destruction, waterloo
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3often Nemesis Retributive justice.
      ‘Nemesis is notoriously slow’
      • ‘And as any student of Greek tragedy knows, the presence of hubris usually means that nemesis - the righteous retribution of the Gods - is not far behind.’
      retribution, vengeance, retributive justice, punishment, just deserts
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: Greek, literally ‘retribution’, from nemein ‘give what is due’.

Pronunciation

nemesis

/ˈnɛməsəs//ˈneməsəs/

Main definitions of nemesis in US English:

: nemesis1Nemesis2

Nemesis2

proper noun

Greek Mythology
  • A goddess usually portrayed as the agent of divine punishment for wrongdoing or presumption (hubris).

Pronunciation

Nemesis

/ˈneməsəs//ˈnɛməsəs/