Main definitions of nemesis in US English:

: nemesis1Nemesis2

nemesis1

noun

  • 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’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I left the room, disappointed with my form and my wimpy nemesis got up and made his way over the machine to play.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our arch nemesis, Fusion, only had two people on their team, but we weren't taking any chances.’
    • ‘He was contemplating a comeback recently when offered a place in the German Davis Cup team by his old nemesis Stich.’
    • ‘If the stick is pressed toward her foe, Nina will vault over the head of her nemesis, allowing her to strike from behind.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Arrows have proven the nemesis of most teams visiting Durban and have established themselves as a formidable outfit.’
    • ‘But an old nemesis - control problems - has plagued him.’
    • ‘Imagine a cartoon hero in an impossible predicament as the scene switches to his nemesis; menacing, manic laughter bellowing out.’
    • ‘Have I finally met my nemesis, the IT problem that I'm too old to understand?’
    • ‘The triple axel remains his nemesis, sometimes disappearing when he needs it the most.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And that's where John meets his destiny and Jeremy his nemesis.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘But perhaps not armed enough for an older, stronger Cuban team, which had proved its nemesis previously.’
    • ‘‘Truth Teams,’ which scout the parking lots to locate the targeted signature gatherers, are having less luck spotting their nemeses.’
    • ‘I successfully cursed a nemesis in junior high - he probably deserved it, but the fact that it worked was very alarming.’
    1. 1.1 A long-standing rival; an archenemy.
      ‘will Harry Potter finally defeat his nemesis, Voldemort?’
      • ‘My nemesis is approaching, my greatest foe.’
      • ‘I offered coffee to anyone who came in the office, including my nemesis, Mr. Coffee Man.’
      • ‘It's a classic example of bad plotting when you have a golden opportunity to destroy your nemesis but you let him live.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The boy turns out to be his future nemesis, Draco Malfoy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the show I have my friends and everything, but I also have a nemesis.’
      • ‘Unsure of himself, Guy spoiled for a decisive battle with the Crusader nemesis, Saladin.’
      • ‘Sonic's arch nemesis Dr. Robotnik has been banished from the Land of Darkness by an evil Metal Robotnik.’
      • ‘As in Spider-Man 3, Shrek is still dealing with a not very interesting nemesis from the last film, Prince Charming.’
      • ‘After the defeat of their old arch nemesis, The Shredder, the Turtles have grown apart as a family.’
      • ‘The Powerpuff Girls must face their nemeses the Gangrene Gang when the teenaged baddies are sent back to school at Pokey Oaks Kindergarten.’
      • ‘Throughout the novel Doc remains loyal to his male characters, even the Weasel, his professed nemesis.’
      • ‘The violent nemesis just happens to be played by a shapely, smoldering brunette TV entertainment reporter named… Maria Menounos.’
      • ‘Ironically, when the teeth of the plot sink in, the introduction of the supernatural nemesis, Ghost Machine begins to lag.’
      • ‘It was the fact that Tarantino's sword-wielding warriors and their nemeses were women.’
      • ‘Perhaps he feels he can now forgive his old nemesis the Bishop of Rome.’
      • ‘His old nemesis, Twink (Chris Haywood), is a cop ready to retire.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘Nor is nemesis, the overpowering sense of eventual destruction, far from the political lives of these players.’
      • ‘In all the best blockbusters, when disaster has dawned and nemesis looks likely by breakfast, there appears in the script a snowy-haired elder.’
      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/