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 Children and parents alike are always nervous at the drop off to summer sleepaway camp. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 July 2021 Parents are nervous that her successor will not create the same community at Ketcham and are talking about leaving. Washington Post, 10 July 2021 The Weather Channel, which started broadcasting in 1982, has some reason to be nervous. New York Times, 6 July 2021 The daughter is stabilized now, but the mother is nervous. Robin Erb And Carter Barrett, Detroit Free Press, 2 July 2021 The Phoenix Suns have a right to be nervous after dropping a game to Paul George and the LA Clippers the last time out. oregonlive, 1 July 2021 Keating had only ever been nervous to go once — after the massacre at Pulse in 2016. Alex Deluca, sun-sentinel.com, 30 June 2021 American taxpayers are set to foot most of the bill for Biogen ’s new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and investors are nervous. Charley Grant, WSJ, 29 June 2021 Discerning fans may also have noticed that the wrestlers were nervous. Jon Wertheim, Vulture, 25 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for nervous

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near nervous

nervosity

nervous

nervous breakdown

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Statistics for nervous

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nervous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nervous. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on nervous

Nglish: Translation of nervous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nervous for Arabic Speakers

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