Synonyms & Antonyms of nerve

(Entry 1 of 2)

3 nerves plural a sense of panic or extreme nervousness
  • a veteran performer who still gets a case of the nerves before performances

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Synonyms & Antonyms of nerve (Entry 2 of 2)

to prepare (oneself) mentally or emotionally
  • needs to nerve himself for the big game tomorrow

Synonyms for nerve

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Frequently Asked Questions About nerve

How is the word nerve different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of nerve are audacity, cheek, chutzpah, effrontery, gall, hardihood, and temerity. While all these words mean "conspicuous or flagrant boldness," nerve, cheek, gall, and chutzpah are informal equivalents for effrontery.

the nerve of that guy

has the cheek to call herself a singer

had the gall to demand proof

the chutzpah needed for a career in show business

Where would audacity be a reasonable alternative to nerve?

The words audacity and nerve are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, audacity implies a disregard of restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence.

an entrepreneur with audacity and vision

When is it sensible to use effrontery instead of nerve?

Although the words effrontery and nerve have much in common, effrontery implies shameless, insolent disregard of propriety or courtesy.

outraged at his effrontery

When could hardihood be used to replace nerve?

In some situations, the words hardihood and nerve are roughly equivalent. However, hardihood suggests firmness in daring and defiance.

admired for her hardihood

When is temerity a more appropriate choice than nerve?

The synonyms temerity and nerve are sometimes interchangeable, but temerity suggests boldness arising from rashness and contempt of danger.

had the temerity to refuse

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Time Traveler for nerve

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The first known use of nerve was in the 14th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near nerve



nerve center

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Cite this Entry

“Nerve.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on nerve

Nglish: Translation of nerve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nerve for Arabic Speakers


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