Synonyms & Antonyms of unnerve

1 to deprive of courage or confidence
  • the riding accident so unnerved me that for a while I was afraid to get back on a horse

Synonyms for unnerve

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Antonyms for unnerve

2 to lessen the courage or confidence of
  • a figure skater can't afford to be unnerved by an occasional slipup

Synonyms for unnerve

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Phrases Synonymous with unnerve

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Antonyms for unnerve

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Frequently Asked Questions About unnerve

How does the verb unnerve differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of unnerve are emasculate, enervate, and unman. While all these words 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

When can emasculate be used instead of unnerve?

In some situations, the words emasculate and unnerve are roughly equivalent. However, emasculate stresses a depriving of characteristic force by removing something essential.

an amendment that emasculates existing safeguards

Where would enervate be a reasonable alternative to unnerve?

The words enervate and unnerve are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When is unman a more appropriate choice than unnerve?

The synonyms unman and unnerve are sometimes interchangeable, but unman implies a loss of manly vigor, fortitude, or spirit.

a soldier unmanned by the terrors of battle

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Time Traveler for unnerve

Time Traveler

The first known use of unnerve was in 1603

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Cite this Entry

“Unnerve.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on unnerve

Dictionary: Definition of unnerve

Nglish: Translation of unnerve for Spanish Speakers

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