Definition of nadir in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈneɪdɪə/
Pronunciation: /ˈnadɪə/


[in singular]
1The lowest or most unsuccessful point in a situation: asking that question was the nadir of my career
More example sentences
  • Getting out of that situation was the absolute nadir of my barefaced lying career.
  • I think our dual roles reached a nadir one morning when she watched me get out of the bath.
  • Once, the prince of misery's career reached such a dramatic nadir one scathing reviewer branded him a ‘boring old drone’.
the lowest point, the all-time low, the lowest level, low-water mark, the bottom, as low as one can get, rock-bottom, the depths;
informal the pits
2 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 sense 2): 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

Line breaks: nadir

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