nervous

adjective
ner·​vous | \ ˈnər-vəs How to pronounce nervous (audio) \

Definition of nervous

1a : timid, apprehensive a nervous smile nervous of strangers
b : easily excited or irritated : jumpy … so nervous that he had to be escorted outside court to vomit …— Kevin Johnson and Andrea Stone
c : of or relating to the nerves also : originating in or affected by the nerves nervous energy a nervous twitch
2a : 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
3 : of, relating to, or composed of neurons
4 : marked by strength of thought, feeling, or style : spirited a vibrant tight-packed nervous style of writing
5 archaic : sinewy, strong

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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

Melissa McLemore, a counselor with the Dallas Police Association’s Assist the Officer Foundation, said sometimes officers might be too nervous to seek help. Dallas News, "For Dallas-area officers coping with trauma after July 7 ambush and other shootings, a focus on mental wellness," 7 July 2019 The yelling made those who heard it very nervous, the sheriff's office said. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Video captures American flag burning at Walmart, prompts arrest," 6 July 2019 Some of Cop Car’s most gripping scenes are essentially silent, letting nervous faces tell the tale. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Cop Car shows where Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts learned action and storytelling," 5 July 2019 All of which makes Biden’s team of advisers nervous about Thursday’s night debate. Vera Bergengruen, Time, "Joe Biden Has Been in High-Pressure Debates Before. But Never Like This," 27 June 2019 But being in love also makes you a tiny bit nervous. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "How Do You Know You Love Someone?," 19 Apr. 2019 While Shostakovich played, the nervous tics that habitually plagued his features disappeared. The New York Review of Books, "Anastasia Edel," 8 Apr. 2019 Because programs like Lambda School and Pathrise aren’t accredited academic institutions and don’t have to adhere to external standards, some educators and policy analysts are nervous that businesses might take advantage of students. Lindsay Gellman, The Atlantic, "Code Now. Pay Tuition Later.," 30 June 2018 Instead, viewers watching TV news or listening to the radio or tuned into the livestream at their desks heard a nervous, almost monotone lawyer speaking in legalese. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Hollywood Tried to Save America with a Live Reading of the Mueller Report," 25 June 2019

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 5

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

15 Jul 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 How to pronounce nervous (audio) \

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 How to pronounce nervous (audio) \

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

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