V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. an arch rival, especially one who seems incapable of being overcome or beaten; 2. something that harms or interferes with something else, especially good intentions; 3. a just punishment that results in another's downfall; 4. the person who inflicts punishment

Synonyms: enemy, archenemy, bane, rival, ruin, downfall, undoing, retribution, punishment

Antonyms: ally, supporter, support

Tips: The word nemesis comes from the Greek word nemain, "to distribute what is due." This is where its definition of "just punishment" comes from. Nemesis was also the name of the Greek goddess of retribution and vengeance. Today, the word nemesis is often heard or seen in cartoons such as Batman and Spiderman, said of their enemies. Note: a nemesis is not just an enemy or rival; nemesis should be used to describe a competitor or foe who you can't beat and one who always seems to find a way to win.

Usage Examples:

The wrestler will face his biggest nemesis in the ring tonight. (enemy, rival)

When growing up, my brother proved to be my greatest nemesis, as he always seemed to beat me at whatever game or sport we played. (rival, competitor)

The pitcher hit the other team's batter as a form of nemesis for his own team's hit batter in the previous inning. (retribution, punishment)

Jane's rudeness toward her boss proved to be her nemesis when it came time for her promotion. (downfall, undoing)

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