nervous

adjective
ner·​vous | \ ˈnər-vəs \

Definition of nervous

1 archaic : sinewy, strong
2 : marked by strength of thought, feeling, or style : spirited a vibrant tight-packed nervous style of writing
3 : of, relating to, or composed of neurons
4a : of or relating to the nerves also : originating in or affected by the nerves nervous energy a nervous twitch
b : easily excited or irritated : jumpy … so nervous that he had to be escorted outside court to vomit …— Kevin Johnson and Andrea Stone
c : timid, apprehensive a nervous smile nervous of strangers
5a : tending to produce nervousness or agitation : uneasy a nervous situation His face was twisted in nervous anticipation.— Dagoberto Gilb
b : appearing or acting unsteady, erratic, or irregular used of inanimate things … climbed carefully into his nervous kayak …— Farley Mowat

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Other Words from nervous

nervously adverb
nervousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for nervous

vigorous, energetic, strenuous, lusty, nervous mean having or showing great vitality and force. vigorous further implies showing no signs of depletion or diminishing of freshness or robustness. as vigorous as a youth half his age energetic suggests a capacity for intense activity. an energetic campaigner strenuous suggests a preference for coping with the arduous or the challenging. the strenuous life on an oil rig lusty implies exuberant energy and capacity for enjoyment. a lusty appetite for life nervous suggests especially the forcibleness and sustained effectiveness resulting from mental vigor. full of nervous energy

Examples of nervous in a Sentence

She is nervous about her job interview. All this waiting is making me nervous. He gave a nervous glance at the clock. His nervous mother is always worrying that something terrible will happen to him. He has a nervous disposition. It was a very nervous situation. She suffers from a nervous disorder. He walked around with a nervous twitch. He had a nervous habit of pulling at his hair. The boy has a lot of nervous energy.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The suspect appeared to become nervous and fled the bank, the federal agency reported. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "FBI seeks identity of "Skinny Bandit" bank robber," 15 June 2018 That clearing may be several weeks from now, however, and said engineers will undoubtedly be very nervous until the storm is gone. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Massive Martian dust storm has put Opportunity rover in a low-power sleep," 13 June 2018 Show a small sign of losing that, and investors get nervous. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook won’t fix itself," 15 Nov. 2018 And there are other signs that investors are getting nervous about Tesla's debt. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s cash crunch, explained," 26 July 2018 Equally, investors might have just been nervous about the election outcome and holding on to cash to avoid the uncertainty. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Right on the Election, Dead Wrong on the Market Reaction," 8 Nov. 2018 Unmanned air-to-air combat is inevitable and could be a regular mission sooner than most people think: The Pentagon is increasingly nervous about the prospect of enemy drones on the battlefield. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Reaper Drone Shot Down Another Drone in First Unmanned Air-to-Air Kill," 19 Sep. 2018 So what does Cowan say to Bostonians who might be nervous about GE’s future? BostonGlobe.com, "Demand for chips is insatiable, and that’s just fine with Entegris," 9 July 2018 THE KEY Washington is nervous about cellphone spying. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Cellphone spying has lawmakers worried. But they don't know how to stop it.," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nervous.' 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 nervous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nervous

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French nervus, nervous, borrowed from Latin nervōsus "full of tendons, sinewy, tough, vigorous (of a person or literary style)," from nervus "sinew, muscle, nerve entry 1" + -ōsus -ous

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Statistics for nervous

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for nervous

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

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More Definitions for nervous

nervous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of nervous

: having or showing feelings of being worried and afraid about what might happen
: often or easily becoming worried and afraid about what might happen
: causing someone to feel worried and afraid : making someone nervous

nervous

adjective
ner·​vous | \ ˈnər-vəs \

Kids Definition of nervous

1 : having or showing feelings of worry, fear, or anxiety Having to give a speech makes me nervous.
2 : easily becoming worried, frightened, or anxious She's a nervous driver.
3 : of, relating to, or made up of nerves or nerve cells nervous tissue

Other Words from nervous

nervously adverb
nervousness noun

nervous

adjective
ner·​vous | \ ˈnər-vəs \

Medical Definition of nervous

1 : of, relating to, or composed of neurons the nervous layer of the eye
2a : of or relating to the nerves also : originating in or affected by the nerves nervous energy
b : easily excited or irritated

Other Words from nervous

nervously adverb
nervousness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on nervous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nervous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nervous

Spanish Central: Translation of nervous

Nglish: Translation of nervous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nervous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nervous

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