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adjective ner·vous \ˈnər-vəs\

Simple Definition of nervous

  • : having or showing feelings of being worried and afraid about what might happen

  • : often or easily becoming worried and afraid about what might happen

  • : causing someone to feel worried and afraid : making someone nervous

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of nervous

  1. 1 archaic :  sinewy, strong

  2. 2 :  marked by strength of thought, feeling, or style :  spirited <a vibrant tight-packed nervous style of writing>

  3. 3 :  of, relating to, or composed of neurons

  4. 4 a :  of or relating to the nerves; also :  originating in or affected by the nerves <nervous energy> b :  easily excited or irritated :  jumpy c :  timid, apprehensive <a nervous smile> <nervous of strangers>

  5. 5 a :  tending to produce nervousness or agitation :  uneasy <a nervous situation> b :  appearing or acting unsteady, erratic, or irregular —used of inanimate things

nervously adverb
nervousness noun

Examples of nervous in a sentence

  1. She is nervous about her job interview.

  2. All this waiting is making me nervous.

  3. He gave a nervous glance at the clock.

  4. His nervous mother is always worrying that something terrible will happen to him.

  5. He has a nervous disposition.

  6. It was a very nervous situation.

  7. She suffers from a nervous disorder.

  8. He walked around with a nervous twitch.

  9. He had a nervous habit of pulling at his hair.

  10. The boy has a lot of nervous energy.

14th Century

First Known Use of nervous

14th century

Synonym Discussion of nervous

vigorous, energetic, strenuous, lusty, nervous mean having or showing great vitality and force. vigorous further implies showing no signs of depletion or diminishing of freshness or robustness <as vigorous as a youth half his age>. energetic suggests a capacity for intense activity <an energetic campaigner>. strenuous suggests a preference for coping with the arduous or the challenging <the strenuous life on an oil rig>. lusty implies exuberant energy and capacity for enjoyment <a lusty appetite for life>. nervous suggests especially the forcibleness and sustained effectiveness resulting from mental vigor <full of nervous energy>.

Rhymes with nervous

NERVOUS Defined for Kids


adjective ner·vous \ˈnər-vəs\

Definition of nervous for Students

  1. 1 :  having or showing feelings of worry, fear, or anxiety <Having to give a speech makes me nervous.>

  2. 2 :  easily becoming worried, frightened, or anxious <She's a nervous driver.>

  3. 3 :  of, relating to, or made up of nerves or nerve cells <nervous tissue>

nervously adverb
nervousness noun

Medical Dictionary


adjective ner·vous \ˈnər-vəs\

Medical Definition of nervous

  1. 1:  of, relating to, or composed of neurons <the nervous layer of the eye>

  2. 2a:  of or relating to the nerves; also :  originating in or affected by the nerves <nervous energy>b:  easily excited or irritated

nervously adverb
nervousness noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up nervous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

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