\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Jabeur drew first blood, forcing a nervy Rybakina to hit from deep in the court. Matthew Futterman, New York Times, 9 July 2022 In Season 1, Joyce Byers was a nervy, terrified single mother whose history of marital suffering gained resonance from Ryder’s presence onscreen. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 6 July 2022 His earliest rockabilly sides sound raw and nervy, almost primitive in their simplicity, a wildness that’s a foreign concept in modern music. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2022 On a nervy, topsy-turvy afternoon in eastern Oklahoma, there was yet another dramatic showdown between the dazzling, hard-swinging 20-somethings who have overtaken the game. Bill Pennington, New York Times, 22 May 2022 What your nervy acquaintance did was breach whatever privacy is left in our society these days, which was thoughtless, rude and inexcusable. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 17 May 2022 Dratch transfers her kooky, nervy physicality onto Stephanie, a White House secretary reliant on pump-up playlists to handle the Type A girlbosses around her. New York Times, 10 May 2022 When a disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two dummy gym employees who attempt to sell it, Clooney’s nervy U.S. Marshal finds himself at the center of the confusion, well sorta. Ben Flanagan |, al, 6 May 2022 There are also clear signs of a nervy director at work. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 4 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of nervy

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nervy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for nervy


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of nervy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nervy for Arabic Speakers


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