- highly excitable; unnaturally or acutely uneasy or apprehensive: to become nervous under stress.
- of or relating to the nerves: nervous tension.
- affecting the nerves: nervous diseases.
- suffering from, characterized by, or originating in disordered nerves.
- characterized by or attended with acute uneasiness or apprehension: a nervous moment for us all.
- having or containing nerves.
- sinewy or strong.
- Archaic. vigorous or spirited.
Origin of nervous
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for nervous
In this nervous city in an embattled country, even small explosions can have a big impact.Is Putin Turning to Terrorism in Ukraine?
January 6, 2015
Are you excited, nervous, afraid, all of the above for the new Star Wars films?Patton Oswalt on Fighting Conservatives With Satire
January 6, 2015
Nervous fans can keep a vigilant eye on it via a webcam hosted on the town website that offers 24-hour goat viewing.Sweden’s Burning Christmas Goat
December 25, 2014
Truth be told, there is no one better at capturing the agony and alarm of a woman in the throes of a nervous breakdown than Moore.Julianne Moore Is Oscar Gold in ‘Still Alice’
December 24, 2014
He's watching it because of his fondness for Bergman and because, he says, “She'll be nervous about my opinion.”Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Hipparete blushed, and with a quick and nervous motion touched her cithara.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Don't let them see you get nervous when they turn out of the coaches.
It made her interlace her fingers with nervous anxiety, but it set a fire in her eyes.
And the sight of his white face and his nervous right hand was too much for them.
The girl's answer was uttered with nervous eagerness which revealed her own stress of fear.Within the Law
- very excitable or sensitive; highly strung
- (often foll by of) apprehensive or worriedI'm nervous of traffic
- of, relating to, or containing nerves; neuralnervous tissue
- affecting the nerves or nervous tissuea nervous disease
- archaic active, vigorous, or forceful
Word Origin and History for nervous
c.1400, "affecting the sinews," from Latin nervosus "sinewy, vigorous," from nervus "sinew, nerve" (see nerve). Meaning "of or belonging to the nerves" in the modern sense is from 1660s. Meaning "suffering disorder of the nervous system" is from 1734; illogical sense "restless, agitated, lacking nerve" is 1740. Widespread popular use as a euphemism for mental forced the medical community to coin neurological to replace it in the older sense. Nervous wreck first attested 1862. Related: Nervously; nervousness.
- Of or relating to the nerves or nervous system.
- Stemming from or affecting the nerves or nervous system, as a disease.
- Easily agitated or distressed.