Nadir refers to the lowest point or the point of greatest adversity in a person’s or thing’s fortunes or achievements.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



rock bottom, low point, bottom, trough, depth


peak, zenith, pinnacle, apex, high point

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun nadir, nadirs
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • After a series of failures, bankruptcy marked the nadir of his business career.

  • The team’s morale reached its nadir when they lost their tenth consecutive game.

  • The country’s economy suffered a severe recession, hitting its nadir with record unemployment rates.

  • Despite facing a string of challenges, her determination helped her rise from the nadir of her personal struggles.


The word “nadir” originated from Arabic and entered the English language in the late 14th century. It is derived from the Arabic term “nazir,” meaning “opposite” or “contrary.” In astronomy, the nadir refers to the point positioned directly beneath an observer, exactly opposite to the zenith, which is the point directly overhead. This astronomical concept led to the metaphorical usage of “nadir” to describe the lowest point or the point of utmost adversity in various contexts.

The word “nadir” is primarily used as a noun, denoting a specific point in time or circumstance. It is often associated with expressing the lowest or most challenging moments in a person’s or thing’s trajectory. For example, one might say, “After a long battle with illness, his health reached its nadir,” indicating the point of greatest decline or adversity in the person’s well-being.

“Nadir” is largely used in formal or literary contexts to convey emotional or dramatic impact. Its usage can evoke a sense of despair or hopelessness, describing a situation that seems to have reached its bleakest point. For instance, a writer might describe a nation’s morale as being at its nadir during times of war or economic crisis.

Prefixes, suffixes, or roots are not commonly added to the word “nadir” in its standard usage. It is a self-contained noun that stands alone to represent the concept of a low point or the extreme opposite of zenith. This unaltered form of the word helps retain its unique and powerful connotations, allowing it to effectively express moments of great adversity or struggle.