Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An effort or endeavor to realize an aim.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The generative impulse occurring periodically, as with many creatures in the spring.
  • noun Effort; endeavor; conatus.
  • noun A genus of small hawks of the family Falconidæ, containing such as are called in Great Britain sparrow-hawks. See Accipiter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A striving; an effort; a conatus.
  • noun The periodic procreative desire manifested in the spring by birds, etc.
  • noun The contraction of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to evacuate feces or urine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a mental or physical effort to attain a specific goal; a striving

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an effortful attempt to attain a goal

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin nīsus, from past participle of nītī, to strive.]

Examples

  • "nisus"; not even _struggle_, in the sense of _contention_, an endeavour an effort, a strain.

    Notes and Queries, Number 36, July 6, 1850

  • 'nisus' will, I think, be more profitably employed in enkindling meditation on holiness, and thirstings after the mind of Christ.

    The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • And the effort of that nexus is, as Barfield likes to put it, a nisus — and a very useful word.

    A Cold Shower « Unknowing

  • Barfield believes in a nisus, a struggling to be born and to emerge into consciousness of the internal ordering principle by which a plant develops, an embryo develops, etc.

    Order « Unknowing

  • The temptation to prove or disprove something with an aphorism or epigram secures instant juvenile glee, but nisus of impelling wider perspective flee.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • He insists that religious belief as a whole is not superstition, and that it is true so far as it is an expression of a ˜nisus to totality™ or a ˜move to wholeness.™

    My Recycled Soul

  • While our concerns surely be grounded in "abandonment, exposure, and vulnerability," it is worth staying awake to the evolutionary nisus that beckons.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • While our concerns surely be grounded in "abandonment, exposure, and vulnerability," it is worth staying awake to the evolutionary nisus that beckons.

    Abandonment, exposure, and vulnerability

  • The temptation to prove or disprove something with an aphorism or epigram secures instant juvenile glee, but nisus of impelling wider perspective flee.

    Let me know also the truths which the Avatar cast not forth into speech

  • The following bird species occur in the Laurissilva forest: Accipiter nisus, Apus unicolor and Fringila coelebs maderensis.

    Floresta Laurissilva da Madeira, Portugal

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • an effort or striving toward a particular goal or attainment; impulse.

    December 2, 2006

  • The random word feature showed me conatus, which brought me here. Then, a few clicks later, it showed me continent. I'm sensing a theme.

    June 27, 2016

  • Countess. It thinks you're a countess.

    June 28, 2016

  • Contemplative, maybe? Or constitutionalist?

    June 28, 2016