nerve-rack·​ing ˈnərv-ˌra-kiŋ How to pronounce nerve-racking (audio)
variants or nerve-wracking
: extremely trying on the nerves
a nerve-racking ordeal
The job interview was a nerve-racking experience.

Examples of nerve-racking in a Sentence

the nerve-racking wait to learn the identities of the passengers who were killed in the plane crash
Recent Examples on the Web Or maybe a nerve-racking thing, depending on your perspective. Envelope Staff, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2024 The song wades in one of the recurring themes of Vandross’s life and music: the nerve-racking challenge of throwing oneself into a romance. Ross Scarano, New York Times, 5 June 2024 Hoop Dreams has some nerve-racking sports scenes — has a free throw ever been more momentous? Will Leitch, Vulture, 27 Apr. 2024 The nerve-racking scenario takes hold of one’s anxieties and sets the tone for an unsettling ride, which IFC will release theatrically before the film streams on Shudder. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 16 Apr. 2024 Reese Witherspoon has special memories from the set of Friends but admits being on the iconic set was a nerve-racking experience. Mia McNiece, Peoplemag, 11 Apr. 2024 For a nerve-racking month, Shady al-Hasoumy said, the family feared the worst for his 10-year-old nephew Yousef. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2024 If that feels nerve-racking for you, start with small steps. Adunola Adeshola, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 The attention was thrilling and nerve-racking for Van Pelt, who had been a stay-at-home mother and was unaccustomed to making public appearances. Alexandra Alter, New York Times, 30 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nerve-racking.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1812, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nerve-racking was in 1812

Dictionary Entries Near nerve-racking

Cite this Entry

“Nerve-racking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

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