\ 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 nervily (audio) \ adverb
nerviness \ ˈnər-​vē-​nəs How to pronounce nerviness (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

Hunt's nervy performance as the outwardly unsympathetic Jackie, struggling to remain a dutiful wife and loving mother in the face of bitter recriminations and sinister revelations, is finely rendered. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'I See You': Film Review | Edinburgh 2019," 8 July 2019 Golden State welcomed Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney back from injury in this Game 4, before a noisy and nervy sellout crowd of 19,596 at Oracle, but the hosts could not muster a response to Toronto’s 37-21 edge in the third quarter. Marc Stein, New York Times, "The Raptors Won Game 4 and Are 1 Win From an N.B.A. Championship," 7 June 2019 Jovic’s goal proved enough for ten-man Frankfurt to win a nervy game, firing Frankfurt into a second successive German Cup Final and setting up a fateful meeting between Kovac and Bayern on May 19. Afp,, "German Cup Recap: Frankfurt's Kovac to face new club Bayern in Cup final," 18 Apr. 2018 With the £7m arrival of Scotland international Stuart Armstrong from Celtic, and Manchester City stopper Angus Gunn coming in for £13.5m, Saints are making moves to better their prior campaign after a nervy 17th place finish., "Denmark International Jannik Vestergaard Completes Medical Ahead of £18m Move to Southampton," 12 July 2018 Thirlby is the only real firecracker here, bringing a compellingly nervy ambiguity to a character whose divided loyalties are thuddingly foreshadowed right from her first scene. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Damascus Cover': Film Review," 4 July 2018 Johnson holed medium-length putts for birdies, a few nervy, short putts for par and picked up a bonus when his shot from a front bunker on the par-4 eighth rattled and rolled into the cup. Doug Ferguson,, "Dustin Johnson shares lead with three others in a U.S. Open that plays like one," 14 June 2018 Brazil star Douglas Costa could reportedly miss most of the remaining matches of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, having sustained a thigh injury in the Samba Boys' nervy 2-0 win over Costa Rica in Group E in St Petersburg on Friday., "Injured Brazil World Cup Star Douglas Costa Could Be out for 3 Weeks, According to Shocking Report," 25 June 2018 Goals in either half from Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic were enough to ensure victory, despite some nervy moments, and United will now join Tottenham in tie semi final ties at Wembley on the weekend of April 21., "Man Utd 2-0 Brighton: Lukaku & Matic Headers Send Red Devils Into FA Cup Semi Finals," 17 Mar. 2018

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

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for nervy

The first known use of nervy was in 1598

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on nervy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nervy

Spanish Central: Translation of nervy

Nglish: Translation of nervy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nervy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nervy

What made you want to look up nervy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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