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or nerve-wracking

[nurv-rak-ing] /ˈnɜrvˌræk ɪŋ/
extremely irritating, annoying, or trying:
a nerve-racking day; a nerve-racking noise.
Origin of nerve-racking
First recorded in 1805-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nerve-racking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the other hand the German soldier had a nerve-racking part to play.

  • It must have been a nerve-racking session for him, that interview with the captain.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • The whole situation had become a nerve-racking tragedy of mind and action.

    The Plunderer Roy Norton
  • Nothing from within the house broke that nerve-racking stillness.

  • If only he wouldn't answer every statement or question with that nerve-racking 'yeah'!

    Empire Clifford Donald Simak
  • The pony swept on in a spurt of nerve-racking speed, but alone.

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up Clarence Edward Mulford
  • Instantly there came out of the night the nerve-racking command, "Halt!"

    Outwitting the Hun Pat O'Brien
  • These men had their first shore experience after a long and nerve-racking voyage.

    Huts in Hell Daniel A. Poling
British Dictionary definitions for nerve-racking


very distressing, exhausting, or harrowing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nerve-racking

also nerveracking, 1812, from nerve + present participle of verbal sense of rack (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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