\ ˈnər-vē How to pronounce nervy (audio) \
nervier; nerviest

Definition of nervy

1 archaic : sinewy, strong
2a : showing or expressive of calm courage : bold
b : marked by effrontery or presumption : brash

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Other Words from nervy

nervily \ ˈnər-​və-​lē How to pronounce nervy (audio) \ adverb
nerviness \ ˈnər-​vē-​nəs How to pronounce nervy (audio) \ noun

Examples of nervy in a Sentence

a nervy performance in the play-offs a nervy film director who's not afraid to take risks The passengers were restless and nervy after the long flight. Too much coffee makes me nervy.
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Recent Examples on the Web Yet despite this massive injection of moxie, the writers have been reluctant to allow June to escape, even while her less nervy sidekicks manage to do so. Kate Knibbs, Wired, 4 May 2021 If Adela’s moral erasure of Udo is understandable, Grattan’s sticking with him is nervy, even fearless. Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, 12 Apr. 2021 That made for a nervy final few minutes after Niall McGinn cut the U.S. lead in half in the 88th minute, rocketing a right-footed shot from a tight angle on the right wing over U.S. keeper Zack Steffen and into the side netting at the far post. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2021 Herb Jones, who led Alabama to its nervy first-round victory, had just four points in nine minutes in the Round of 32. Joseph Goodman |, al, 23 Mar. 2021 And while Rabiot's thumping header made things nervy, Porto managed to hold on, with substitutes sprinting on in celebration, staff embracing each other, and players strewn over the Turin pitch in jubilation and relief. Ben Morse, CNN, 10 Mar. 2021 The nervy five-set final between Thiem and Zverev was not exactly an endorsement of post-Big Three era tennis. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2021 Youri Tielemans blasted a brilliant second, but substitute Andy Carroll's first goal in a Newcastle shirt for 10 years set up a nervy finale for Brendan Rodgers' team at St James' Park. Paul Gittings, CNN, 3 Jan. 2021 There are many examples of rich, barrel-fermented, sur lie-aged Chardonnays done exceptionally well, their richness in beautiful tension with nervy acidity. Esther Mobley,, 17 Oct. 2016

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

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for nervy

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nervy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for nervy



English Language Learners Definition of nervy

US, approving : having or showing courage or confidence
US, disapproving used to describe someone who says or does rude or shocking things that make other people angry or upset
British : feeling unpleasantly nervous or excited : not calm


\ ˈnər-vē How to pronounce nervy (audio) \
nervier; nerviest

Kids Definition of nervy

1 : showing calm courage The team won after a nervy performance.
2 : showing or acting with disrespectful boldness

More from Merriam-Webster on nervy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nervy

Nglish: Translation of nervy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nervy for Arabic Speakers


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