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

Ten years into an economic recovery coupled with some troubling headwinds have people nervous a recession may be coming, which has led to more calls for more expansionary monetary policy. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "The ECB, and central banking, is at a crossroads," 11 Sep. 2019 Many Afghans are nervous that America, in its haste to leave, will shred those interests. The Economist, "America’s long Afghan war nears an end," 3 Sep. 2019 Stat of the Week 30 The top mile-per-hour speed of shared Revel mopeds in New York City, where the brand new form of [blank]-share is making some people nervous. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Uber’s $5 Billion Loss, Boeing’s 787 Trouble, and More Car News," 19 Aug. 2019 Audiences embrace speakers who are nervous, especially if the speaker can find a way to acknowledge it. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "The crucial piece of advice TED gives to nervous speakers," 8 Aug. 2019 Carter remembers being nervous when stepping into the role after the beloved founding pastor died. Dallas News, "Wright Lassiter Jr. was a servant leader who inspired faith, trust in Dallas," 3 July 2019 Parents already hearing about the latest Pokémon release have no reason to be nervous, the study says. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study: If You Played Pokémon As a Kid, You Have Pokémon Brain As an Adult," 14 June 2019 During the interview, Wilson appeared nervous to the sheriff’s officers. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, "A teen allegedly wanted to ‘shoot 400 people for fun.’ Cops found an AK-47 in her bedroom.," 17 Sep. 2019 But draining its own stockpiles may leave the market more nervous about future supply outages, and they are already said to be at a low level. David Sheppard, Los Angeles Times, "Attack on Saudi facility exposes world economy’s ‘Achilles heel’," 16 Sep. 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

7 Oct 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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