unnerve

verb un·nerve \ ˌən-ˈnərv \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of unnerve

transitive verb
1 :to deprive of courage, strength, or steadiness
2 :to cause to become nervous :upset

unnervingly

play \ˌən-ˈnər-viŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of unnerve in a Sentence

  1. Seeing the police in there unnerved me.

  2. She was unnerved by his strange manner.

Recent Examples of unnerve from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unnerve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unnerve

1603

Synonym Discussion of unnerve

unnerve, enervate, unman, emasculate mean to deprive of strength or vigor and the capacity for effective action. unnerve implies marked often temporary loss of courage, self-control, or power to act.
    • unnerved by the near collision
enervate suggests a gradual physical or moral weakening (as through luxury or indolence) until one is too feeble to make an effort.
    • a nation's youth enervated by affluence and leisure
unman implies a loss of manly vigor, fortitude, or spirit.
    • a soldier unmanned by the terrors of battle
emasculate stresses a depriving of characteristic force by removing something essential.
    • an amendment that emasculates existing safeguards

UNNERVE Defined for English Language Learners

unnerve

verb

Definition of unnerve for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) feel afraid or upset and unable to think clearly


UNNERVE Defined for Kids

unnerve

verb un·nerve \ ˌən-ˈnərv \

Definition of unnerve for Students

unnerved; unnerving
:to cause to lose confidence, courage, or self-control


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!