nerve

noun
\ ˈnərv How to pronounce nerve (audio) \

Definition of nerve

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : sinew, tendon strain every nerve
2 : any of the filamentous bands of nervous tissue that connect parts of the nervous system with the other organs, conduct nerve impulses, and are made up of axons and dendrites together with protective and supportive structures
3a : power of endurance or control : fortitude, strength
b : assurance, boldness also : presumptuous audacity : gall
4a : a sore or sensitive point her remark touched a nerve
b nerves plural : nervous agitation or irritability : nervousness a case of nerves
6 : the sensitive pulp of a tooth

nerve

verb
nerved; nerving

Definition of nerve (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give strength or courage to : supply with physical or moral force

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Choose the Right Synonym for nerve

Noun

temerity, audacity, hardihood, effrontery, nerve, cheek, gall, chutzpah mean conspicuous or flagrant boldness. temerity suggests boldness arising from rashness and contempt of danger. had the temerity to refuse audacity implies a disregard of restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence. an entrepreneur with audacity and vision hardihood suggests firmness in daring and defiance. admired for her hardihood effrontery implies shameless, insolent disregard of propriety or courtesy. outraged at his effrontery nerve, cheek, gall, and chutzpah are informal equivalents for effrontery. the nerve of that guy has the cheek to call herself a singer had the gall to demand proof the chutzpah needed for a career in show business

Examples of nerve in a Sentence

Noun The optic nerve in the eye allows you to see. a condition affecting the nerves in her arm It takes a lot of nerve to start a new career. He found the nerve to stand up to his boss. I was going to ask her to the dance, but I lost my nerve. You have a lot of nerve to talk to me that way. I can't believe she had the nerve to call me a liar. Verb needs to nerve himself for the big game tomorrow
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There is no guarantee that those nerve connections will ever find their way back to their normal pathways. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Loss of smell and taste can linger after Covid or come back different," 6 Jan. 2021 Sciatica can cause back and leg pain and is due to compression on nerve roots or on the sciatic nerve which runs from the lower spine down the thigh. Fox News, "Pope Francis to skip New Year's Eve ceremonies due to back pain," 1 Jan. 2021 Khudobin’s 744 saves in the playoffs were the third most in NHL history for a single postseason, all while dealing with a nerve issue in his elbow that caused numbness in his stick hand. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "How will Anton Khudobin fare as a full-time starter in goal for the Stars?," 30 Dec. 2020 Climbing from the ice’s often unstable edge into the unsteady packrafts and paddling while pulling the heavy, but buoyant, gear sleds across open water proved effective, if nerve-jangling. Adventure, "The untold story of the boldest polar expedition of modern times," 23 Dec. 2020 At the base of the hair follicle are sensory nerves that wrap around each hair bulb; pulling the hair stimulates these nerve endings and alerts us to feelings of pain. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: The Complete Guide to Scalp Care," 17 Dec. 2020 But the agency did say cases of the nerve disorder should be tracked, given that other vaccines can cause the problem. Arkansas Online, "U.S. panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer covid-19 vaccine," 11 Dec. 2020 In others, the damage to nerve-cell communication could come by way of inflammatory processes that directly tweak the functioning of our neural grids. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "The Curious Influence of COVID-19 on Sleep," 21 Dec. 2020 These sections contain startling revelations about tribal culture, native ribaldry, and a social outcast’s mad nerve. Armond White, National Review, "2020’s Great Gangsta Epic," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Indeed, the novel coronavirus has been linked to several neurological conditions, with one study from July identifying those conditions as stroke, delirium, nerve damage and a rare inflammatory brain condition that can be fatal. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Missouri boy, 3, suffers coronavirus-linked stroke: ‘We thought we were going to lose him’," 26 Dec. 2020 The novel coronavirus has been linked to several neurological conditions, with one study from July identifying those conditions as stroke, delirium, nerve damage and a rare inflammatory brain condition that can be fatal. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Arizona coronavirus patient, 23, goes viral after detailing illness: ‘COVID-19 is no joke’," 3 Dec. 2020 The long-term effects of COVID-19 continue to be a murky subject full of unsettling concerns such as lasting heart and nerve damage, but the effort to understand them is gaining strength and urgency. al, "Research into mysterious ‘Long COVID’ symptoms picking up steam," 15 Nov. 2020 Even the loss of smell that’s been a high-profile symptom of Covid-19 is considered neurologic, likely caused by dysfunction of olfactory nerves or nerve support cells, Koralnik said. Robert Langreth, Bloomberg.com, "Brain Deficits, Nerve Pain Can Torment Covid Patients for Months," 28 Aug. 2020 Recording began in 2017, but an unspecified accident after the initial session left Simmons with broken bones, nerve damage and a severely impaired left hand. Pablo Gorondi, Star Tribune, "Review: Music writer Sylvie Simmons' 2nd album also a charm," 13 Aug. 2020 Ryans suffered gruesome gashes on his ankle, both on the front and back of his leg, and tendon and nerve damage. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: Vicious police attack on an unarmed Black man proves talk of reform only goes so far," 12 Aug. 2020 Infections with certain bacteria and Zika virus, among others, are linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, in which the immune system attacks nerve tissue, causing tingling, weakness, and paralysis. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "From ‘brain fog’ to heart damage, COVID-19’s lingering problems alarm scientists," 31 July 2020 Reducing the first and maximising the second will require principles and nerve. The Economist, "Putin’s pal in peril The right way to get rid of President Alexander Lukashenko," 1 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nerve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nerve

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1750, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nerve

Noun

Latin nervus sinew, nerve; akin to Greek neuron sinew, nerve, nēn to spin — more at needle

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Time Traveler for nerve

Time Traveler

The first known use of nerve was in the 14th century

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Statistics for nerve

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nerve. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for nerve

nerve

noun
How to pronounce nerve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nerve

: one of the many thin parts that control movement and feeling by carrying messages between the brain and other parts of the body
: courage that allows you to do something that is dangerous, difficult, or frightening
: the rude attitude of someone who says or does things that make other people angry or upset

nerve

noun
\ ˈnərv How to pronounce nerve (audio) \

Kids Definition of nerve

1 : a bundle of nerve fibers that carries messages in the form of nerve impulses to or away from the brain and spinal cord
2 : courage, boldness “I've always wanted to do something like that … I just didn't have the nerve.”— Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control
3 : rude or disrespectful boldness You've got a lot of nerve to talk to me that way.
4 nerves plural : feelings of worry The groom suffered from nerves before the wedding.
5 : the sensitive soft inner part of a tooth

Other Words from nerve

nerveless \ -​ləs \ adjective

nerve

noun
\ ˈnərv How to pronounce nerve (audio) \

Medical Definition of nerve

1 : any of the filamentous bands of nervous tissue that connect parts of the nervous system with the other organs, conduct nerve impulses, and are made up of axons and dendrites together with protective and supportive structures and that for the larger nerves have the fibers gathered into funiculi surrounded by a perineurium and the funiculi enclosed in a common epineurium
2 nerves plural : a state or condition of nervous agitation or irritability
3 : the sensitive pulp of a tooth

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Comments on nerve

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