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 New England Patriots linebacker Brandon King undertook what could be seen as a nerve-racking assignment on Thursday: Giving coach Bill Belichick a haircut. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Watch Brandon King cut Bill Belichick’s ‘third-and-long’ gray hair," 12 Mar. 2021 For the independent operators who run the majority of U.S. restaurants, navigating a reopening is often a nerve-racking process, owners said. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Covid-19-Closed Restaurants Are Reopening. Running Them Is Still a Battle.," 8 Mar. 2021 But getting to its top can be an adventure in its own right; drivers are more than 6,000 feet above sea level, navigating roads with nerve-racking drop-offs. Washington Post, "Danger lurks in national parks, but not necessarily where you expect it," 25 Feb. 2021 Every summer some 10m students in China trek to 7,000 testing centres around the country to sit the nerve-racking exam, which lasts for nine hours over two to four days. The Economist, "Daily chart The benefits of acing China’s most important academic exam," 23 Feb. 2021 And qualification for the 2022 World Cup, perhaps the most nerve-racking competition of all, is due to begin in March and run helter-skelter throughout the year. Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "A lot to gain (or lose) in 2021 for U.S. national teams," 30 Oct. 2020 Reuland noted that follow-up tests can be nerve-racking and costly. Author: Laurie Mcginley, Anchorage Daily News, "Millions more smokers and ex-smokers should receive free annual screenings for lung cancer, task force says," 9 Mar. 2021 Buying a new car or truck can be nerve-racking, what with all the different options to choose from and the financial aspect of such a major transaction. Nick Kurczewski, Car and Driver, "NHTSA and IIHS Crash Test Safety Ratings Explained," 27 Feb. 2021 But her apprehension before taking the stage at Coachella is also nerve-racking. Bill Goodykoontz, Detroit Free Press, "Documentary reveals 2 sides of singer Billie Eilish," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The injury turned out to be a severely pinched (and almost severed) nerve in his neck, but luckily not a broken neck as initially feared. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The new Captain America’s Alabama connection," 30 Mar. 2021 Hair transplantation and laser follicle stimulation are both considered serious medical procedures, and carry the same potential side effects of infection, nerve damage and skin irritation. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, "The best hair loss treatment for men," 27 Mar. 2021 Throughout his career, Favre suffered many injuries, such as a separated shoulder, sprains, fractured bones, nerve damage, and a number of concussions. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "NFL Legend Brett Favre Says He Was 'as Low as I Possibly Could Be' During Painkiller Addiction," 25 Mar. 2021 Stefanski said Delpit and Williams are progressing from their injuries, Delpit a ruptured Achilles tendon, and Williams nerve damage in his shoulder. cleveland, "If TE David Njoku wants out, ex-Viking Kyle Rudolph would love to play for Kevin Stefanski: Browns Insider," 3 Mar. 2021 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

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nerve. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for nerve

nerve

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on nerve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nerve

Nglish: Translation of nerve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nerve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nerve

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