The Plural of Nemesis: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

If you have ever needed to use the plural form of nemesis and wondered what it is, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you what nemesis is, the plural noun form, the history and origin, synonyms, and examples of the word in context.

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What Is the Definition of Nemesis?

The word nemesis is defined in American English as:

  • Capitalized: the Greek goddess of retributive justice
  • The inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall.
    • “The balance beam was the team’s nemesis, as two gymnasts fell from the apparatus”

–     A long-standing rival; an archenemy.

– “Will Harry Potter finally defeat his nemesis, Voldemort?”

– A downfall caused by an inescapable agent.

–     “One risks nemesis by uttering such words”

– Retributive justice.

Archnemesis is defined as:

  • Ratchet and Clank are split up after the sprite-like beings called the Zoni whisk Clank away. Players soon find out Dr. Nefarious, their archnemesis, was partly behind the kidnapping. — Gieson Cacho, Contra Costa Times (California),  10 Dec. 2009

We have all heard of nemesis being used in superhero movies like Batman where the arch-nemesis (the Joker) enters the scene and an epic battle happens. You may not have heard of the Greek goddess named Nemesis or heard it described as retributive justice. This is probably not a word you use in your everyday language and hopefully, you do not have an arch-nemesis.

What Is the Plural Form of Nemesis?

The plural form of nemesis is nemeses and has a few different meanings such as:

  • One that inflicts retribution or vengeance 
  • Many a pursued man fell before my nemesis in the streets …— Agnes Morely Cleaveland
  • A formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent 
  • The team was defeated by its old nemesis. 

The History and Origin of the Word

This word is seen in the 1570s from the Greek word nemesis. Nemesis was the Greek goddess of retribution. The literal meaning of the word was righteous anger distributed. It was related to nemein from the PIE root nem meaning apportion one’s due. In the 1930s it took on the more familiar meaning of something or someone that must be defeated. 

In Greek mythology, Nemesis was the Greek goddess of vengeance. She dealt out justice for good deeds and punished evil ones. To make the Greeks even more leery of the goddess, you would never know when you would get your punishment. It was believed she might not delve it out immediately but wait until the deed could be avenged fully which could last for generations. 

Synonyms of Nemesis from a Thesaurus

  • Avenger-  to take vengeance for or on behalf of 
    • vowed to avenge their murdered father
    • to exact satisfaction for (a wrong) by punishing the wrongdoer 
    • was determined to avenge the assault
  • Castigator- to subject to severe punishment, reproof, or criticism 
    • The judge castigated the lawyers for their lack of preparation.
  • Chastiser-: to censure severely: CASTIGATE
    • The coach chastised the players for their mistakes.
    • to inflict punishment on (as by whipping)

–     Punisher-  to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation

  • to inflict a penalty for the commission of (an offense) in retribution or retaliation
  • o deal with roughly or harshly
  • to inflict injury on: HURT
  • Scourge- WHIP
    • especially: one used to inflict pain or punishment
    • an instrument of punishment or criticism
    • a cause of wide or great affliction
  • Vigilante-  a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate)
    • broadly: a self-appointed doer of justice

Example Sentences With Nemesis


The English language can be a tricky thing since it is a compilation of many other languages. Finding the correct plural forms of words is an important step to becoming well educated. Now you are an expert on all things regarding nemesis. 


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