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, the Nadir, and different types of Horizon. Note how the Nadir is opposite the Zenith.]] The nadir (from Arabic نظير nadhir, "opposite") is the direction pointing directly below a particular location; that is, it is one of two vertical directions at the location, orthogonal to a horizontal flat surface there. Since the concept of being below is itself somewhat vague, scientists define the nadir in more rigorous terms. Specifically, in astronomy, geophysics and related sciences (e.g., meteorology), the nadir at a given point is the local vertical direction pointing in the direction of the force of gravity at that location. The direction opposite of the nadir is the zenith.

Nadir also refers to the downward-facing viewing geometry of an orbiting satellite,[1] such as is employed during remote sensing of the atmosphere, as well as when an astronaut faces the Earth while performing an EVA.

The word is also used figuratively to mean the lowest point of a person's spirits,[2] or the quality of an activity or profession.[3]

The term nadir can also be used to represent the lowest point reached by a celestial body during its apparent orbit around a given point of observation. This can be used to describe the location of the Sun, but it is only technically accurate for one latitude at a time and only possible at the low latitudes. The sun is said to be at the nadir at a location when it is at the zenith at the location's antipode.

See also

References

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

WOTD - 23 September 2006    
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See also Nadir

Contents

English

Etymology

From Mediaeval Latin nadir, from Arabic نَظِيرُ السَّمْت (naẓīru as-samt), composed of السَمْتُ (as-samt), the zenith) and نَظِير (naẓīr), counterpart, corresponding to).

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
nadir

Plural
nadirs

nadir (plural nadirs)

  1. The point of the celestial sphere, directly opposite the zenith; inferior pole of the horizon; point of the celestial sphere directly under the place where we stand.
  2. (figuratively) The lowest point; time of greatest depression.
    • "The seventh century is the nadir of the human mind in Europe." — Henry Hallam.
    • "In this nadir of poetic repute, when the only verse that most people read from one year’s end to the next is what appears on greetings cards, it is well for us to stop and consider our poets.... Poets are the leaven in the lump of civilization." Elizabeth Janeway (b. 1913), U.S. author, critic. The Writer’s Book, ch. 30, ed. Helen Hull (1950).
  3. (astronomy) The axis of a projected conical shadow (e.g. the nadir of the sun is the axis of the conical shadow projected by the Earth)
  4. (beekeeping, archaic) an empty box added beneath a full one in a beehive to give the colony more room to expand or store honey.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Related terms

Translations

Anagrams


French

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French Wikipedia has an article on:
Nadir

Wikipedia fr

Etymology

As for the English word.

Noun

nadir m. (plural nadirs)

  1. (astronomy) nadir

Antonyms

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of adinr
  • radin

Italian

Etymology

As for the English word.

Pronunciation

nadìr, /naˈdir/, /na"dir/

Noun

nadir m.

  1. (astronomy) nadir

Antonyms

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of adinr
  • nardi

Turkish

Etymology

  • From Arabic.

Adjective

nadir (comparative daha nadir, superlative en nadir)

  1. rare

Synonyms


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