the lowest point


nadir = Tiefpunkt, Fußpunkt — Tiefstwert von Messwerten (Medizin) — der Punkt auf der Himmelskugel direkt unter einem Beobachter (Astronomie)



“The PM ends this year with personal approval ratings that have become atrocious enough to be comparable with the depths plumbed by Boris Johnson at the time of his defenestration, though they are not yet quite as terrible as those of Liz Truss at her NADIR.”

Andrew Rawnsley - The Guardian
(17th December 2023)

Did you


- the lowest or most unsuccessful point in a situation

- the point on the celestial sphere directly below an observer

Oxford Languages / Collins Dictionary


The word "nadir" comes from Arabic nādir meaning "opposite" or "contrary".

It entered Middle English from Medieval Latin nadir, which referred to the point in the celestial sphere directly opposite the zenith.

Over time, nadir came to symbolize the lowest point or the lowest possible level in various contexts, such as emotions or situations.


Bill Clinton (when Governor of Arkansas in the mid-1980s):

“When the Sanyo company told me it was planning to close its television-assembly plant in Forrest City, Dave Harrington and I flew to Osaka, Japan, to see Satoshi Iue, the president of Sanyo, a vast company with more than 100,000 employees worldwide.

I had become friends with Mr. Iue over the years. After I was defeated for governor in 1980, he sent me a beautiful piece of Japanese calligraphy that said "Though the river may force you to change course hold fast to what you believe”. I had it framed, and when I was reelected in 1982, it hung above the entrance to our bedroom so that I would see it every day.

I told Mr. Iue that we couldn't handle the loss of Sanyo's jobs in eastern Arkansas, where the Delta counties all had unemployment rates higher than 10 percent. I asked him if he would keep the plant open if WalMart would sell Sanyo's televisions. After he agreed, I flew back to Arkansas and asked WalMart to help. In September 2003, Satoshi Iue came to Chappaqua for lunch. By then, WalMart had bought more than twenty million of those television sets!”


- for “nadir”:

all-time low, bedrock, bottom (of the barrel, the heap, the pit, bottommost, low point, low water-mark, lowest ebb (level, point, possible point), NADIR (of despair), rock-bottom, the bottom (depths, floor, lowest ebb/level, lowest point, pits, very bottom)

- for “never give up”:

be persistent, carry on, don't give up the ship (throw in the towel), endure (against all odds), hold fast (firm, on, hold, steady, the faith, the fort, the line, your ground, your nerve), keep at it (going, the candle burning, the dream alive, the faith, the flame alive, the fire burning, the flag flying, the momentum going, the resolve strong, the spark alive/the spirit alive, the torch lit, the wheel turning, your chin up), maintain your resolve (against all odds), never back down (falter), NEVER GIVE UP (let go, lose hope, quit, relent, say die, surrender, waver), persevere, remain steadfast, resist against all odds, show determination, soldier on, stand firm (your ground), stay resolute (strong, the course, unwavering, stay unyielding, unshaken)

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

"When we hit rock bottom, the NADIR of our experience, there's only one direction left to go — upwards."

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