Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Latin.



  1. A mental or physical effort to attain a specific goal; a striving.
    • 1833, James O' Beirne, New Views on the Process of Defecation, and Their Application to the Pathology and Treatment of Diseases of the Stomach, Bowels, and Other Organs, quoted in 1833, John Johnson (editor), The Medico-Chirurgical Review, New Series: Volume 19 (Volume 23 of the Analytical Series), page 7,
      The evacuation of the rectum and bladder being completed, immediately the nisus ceases, the rectum and the sphincters return to their former state of contraction, the diaphragm reascends, carrying with it and restoring to their proper situations the liver, the stomach, the spleen, the small intestines, the cæcum, and the ascending, tranverse and descending portions of the colon.
    • 1992, J.G. Hart, The Person and the Common Life: Studies in a Husserlian Social Ethics, page 363,
      The godly personality of a higher order, as the telos of the nisus of moral categoriality, is the sensus plenior of the nisus to a universal communalization of perspectives.
    • 2006, Errol E. Harris, Reflections on the Problem of Consciousness, page 158,
      The immanent nisus to completion, therefore, drives the complex to the explication of its internal relations so that they become recognizable as such.
  2. The periodic procreative desire manifested in the spring by birds, etc.
  3. The contraction of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to evacuate faeces or urine.




Perfect participle of nītor



nīsus (feminine nīsa, neuter nīsum); first/second-declension participle

  1. Alternative form of nīxus


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative nīsus nīsa nīsum nīsī nīsae nīsa
Genitive nīsī nīsae nīsī nīsōrum nīsārum nīsōrum
Dative nīsō nīsō nīsīs
Accusative nīsum nīsam nīsum nīsōs nīsās nīsa
Ablative nīsō nīsā nīsō nīsīs
Vocative nīse nīsa nīsum nīsī nīsae nīsa


nīsus m (genitive nīsūs); fourth declension

  1. pressure (downward push)
  2. exertion


Fourth-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative nīsus nīsūs
Genitive nīsūs nīsuum
Dative nīsuī nīsibus
Accusative nīsum nīsūs
Ablative nīsū nīsibus
Vocative nīsus nīsūs


  • nisus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • nisus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • nisus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • nisus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) if I am not mistaken: nisi fallor
    • (ambiguous) if I am not mistaken: nisi (animus) me fallit
    • (ambiguous) unless I'm greatly mistaken: nisi omnia me fallunt
    • (ambiguous) to except the fact that..: praeterquam quod or nisi quod
  • nisus in The Perseus Project (1999) Perseus Encyclopedia[2]
  • nisus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • nisus in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray