nervous

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

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

Americans are still nervous about Egypt and the whole region. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Can Egypt Convince the World That It Is Starting Over?," 19 Mar. 2019 After a nervous start, Germany's influence on the game began to grow. SI.com, "Germany 0-1 Mexico: Reigning Champions Stunned by Magnificent El Tri in World Cup Opener," 17 June 2018 After a nervous start, Germany's influence on the game began to grow. Joe Marcovitch, Pro Soccer USA, "Germany 0-1 Mexico: Reigning champions stunned by magnificent El Tri in World Cup opener," 17 June 2018 There was no sign of an outline of an agreement under which North Korea would scale back or abandon its nuclear weapons program, and Kim appeared nervous about his personal safety and about the integrity of any long-term U.S. security guarantees. Matt Stiles, latimes.com, "Trump pulls out of planned nuclear summit, says he will be 'waiting' if North Korea changes its approach," 24 May 2018 The decisions that often make me the most nervous are the ones with a sense of permanence, things that are really hard to understand or fully know the scale of, like the exterior finish on a house. Joanna Saltz, House Beautiful, "5 Interior Designers Reveal the Risks That Could've Failed Spectacularly—And How They Survived," 11 Mar. 2019 Abensur got me making risotto long before cooking-show demagogues made many a home cook too nervous to try. Julia Tausch, Bon Appetit, "'The Cranks Bible' Is the Only Vegetarian Cookbook I'll Ever Need," 13 June 2018 Knitting has been a wonderful way to channel my nervous energy into something tactile and physical. Talia Abbas, SELF, "11 Wellness Things Our Editors Tried and Loved This Month," 1 Feb. 2019 The fact that Kansas was always a possession or two from taking the lead ramped up the nervous energy inside Allen Fieldhouse, turning it into a powder keg. Dave Skretta, The Seattle Times, "Lawson’s double-double lifts No. 9 KU past No. 24 Cyclones," 22 Jan. 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 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

8 Apr 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

Comments on nervous

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