The nexus of things is the place where they are connected.
A nexus can also be a meeting place, or, a network (a connected group of things.)
Part of speech
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one nexus or multiple nexuses.)
How to use it:
When you use "nexus" to mean "a place where things connect," then you talk about the nexus of two or more things, or the nexus between two or more things: "We're caught in the nexus of high demand and limited resources." "The conflict strengthened the nexus between the allied nations."
As you can see in those examples, the nexus that you talk about is often figurative: not something you can actually see or touch. But you can have literal nexuses, too: "Atlanta is a nexus of 15 passenger airlines."
When you use "nexus" to mean "a meeting place," then you usually talk about a/the nexus for something: "The south living room of the frat was the nexus for organized procrastination."
And when you use "nexus" to mean "a network; a connected group," you usually talk about a nexus of stuff: "the nexus of society," "the nexus of this plot, "the nexus of interdependent species in an ecosystem."
Directors of learning centers have to master the nexus between education and business. Too much focus on either at the expense of the other, and the center will fail.
TV shows and movies about mind-reading are entertaining, but I always find the representation of someone's thoughts as a simple monologue totally insufficient. Aren't your thoughts always a swirling nexus of words, sounds, feelings, images, and memories?
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "nexus" means when you can explain it without saying "point of intersection" or "complex system."
Think of two very different things that actually do overlap a little, and fill in the blanks: "In theory, there's no nexus between _____ and _____, but _____."
Example: "In theory, there's no nexus between church and state in our country, but issues about their confluence are in the papers every day."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with song lyrics that include words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I’ll give you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition. See if you can come up with it! You can follow the link to see the right answer right away, or just wait until the following day’s issue. Have fun!
Yesterday's lyrics: Artist: Sheryl Crow Title: The Last Time Lyrics: An angry young man is on the _____
There's so many things he'd change Definition: a condition of readiness for a fight
Try this one today:
Artist: Indigo Girls Title: (Our vocabulary word) Lyrics: Up on the _____
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load Definition: an important event or turning point, or a place where the land bumps upward and moisture falls down from it in opposite directions.
Kate DiCamillo: “Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark.”
1. The opposite of NEXUS is
2. I imagine that Google picked "Nexus" as the name for its line of smartphones and tablets so that consumers would imagine _____.
A. smooth interconnection across devices
B. incredible download speeds
C. stylish, compact design
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
I bet some of you will see today's word and think of Seinfeld, when Kramer said this: "Hey, I'm on first and first. How can the same street intersect with itself? I must be at the nexus of the universe."
For fun, let's recall some words that describe the characters from Seinfeld:
- When Kramer calls Elaine a cold-hearted business woman, she takes it as a compliment. Elaine's manners can be sour, sharp, bitter, and harsh. She is a____ic.
- Newman is a mailman, but whenever it rains, he stays home and sits in his chair. He's so lazy and uninterested in his work. He's l___dai__al.
- Much of the dialogue on the show involves the friends teasing each other sarcastically in a friendly way. You can call that kind of talking r___ery.
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