Definition of nadir in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnādər/
Pronunciation: /ˈnādir/


[in singular]
1The lowest point in the fortunes of a person or organization: they had reached the nadir of their sufferings
More example sentences
  • Yet 7 years on from that nadir in the club fortunes, Doncaster Rovers are in rude health and aiming for their highest League position since the 1950s.
  • Although Alchemy's history is relatively short, it is not short of examples of successful trawls of companies whose fortunes have reached a nadir.
  • The 1932 annual meeting, held at the nadir of the company's fortunes, was even stormier.
lowest point, lowest level, all-time low, bottom, rock-bottom
informal pits
1.1 Astronomy The point on the celestial sphere directly below an observer. The opposite of zenith.
Example sentences
  • If a planet culminates, sets or is on the nadir at the same time that a star occupies one of the sacred earth-generated angles, then that star walks with that planet.


Late Middle English (in the astronomical sense): via French from Arabic naẓīr (as-samt) 'opposite (to the zenith)'.

  • zenith from Late Middle English:

    Like its opposite, nadir (Late Middle English), zenith was originally an astronomical term deriving from Arabic, in this case from samt ar-ra's, ‘path over the head’. In astronomy the zenith is the point in the sky immediately above the observer, and also the highest point reached by a particular celestial object, when it is at its zenith. The modern general sense of this developed from the astronomical use in the early 17th century. The nadir is the point in the sky immediately below the observer, and comes from Arabic nazīr, meaning ‘opposite [to the zenith]’. Its general sense, ‘the lowest or most unsuccessful point’, also developed in the early 17th century.

Words that rhyme with nadir

Acadia, Arcadia, stadia

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: na·dir

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