Dictionary

unnerve

verb un·nerve \-ˈnərv\

: to make (someone) feel afraid or upset and unable to think clearly

Full Definition of UNNERVE

transitive verb
1
:  to deprive of courage, strength, or steadiness
2
:  to cause to become nervous :  upset
un·nerv·ing·ly \-ˈnər-viŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of UNNERVE

  1. Seeing the police in there unnerved me.
  2. She was unnerved by his strange manner.

First Known Use of UNNERVE

1601

Synonym Discussion of UNNERVE

unnerve, enervate, unman, emasculate mean to deprive of strength or vigor and the capacity for effective action. unnerve implies marked often temporary loss of courage, self-control, or power to act <unnerved by the near collision>. enervate suggests a gradual physical or moral weakening (as through luxury or indolence) until one is too feeble to make an effort <a nation's youth enervated by affluence and leisure>. unman implies a loss of manly vigor, fortitude, or spirit <a soldier unmanned by the terrors of battle>. emasculate stresses a depriving of characteristic force by removing something essential <an amendment that emasculates existing safeguards>.

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