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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The nerve-racking announcement was made when the aerialist won more votes than Avery Dixon, Light Balance Kids, Ana-Maria Mārgean and Aidan McCan. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 27 Feb. 2023 Buechner was born deaf and said that having to seek medical treatment without a qualified American Sign Language interpreter can be nerve-racking, frustrating and sometimes dangerous. Hunter Turpin, Journal Sentinel, 24 Feb. 2023 In our bodies, this stress reaction can play out the moment we’re called upon at work to give a presentation, or perhaps during a nerve-racking first date: sweaty palms, bowel discomfort, the sensation of pins and needles pricking the skin. Tree Meinch, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2023

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

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 23 Mar. 2023.

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