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90s Slang You Should Know


[uhn-nurv] /ʌnˈnɜrv/
verb (used with object), unnerved, unnerving.
to deprive of courage, strength, determination, or confidence; upset:
Fear unnerved him.
Origin of unnerve
First recorded in 1595-1605; un-2 + nerve Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unnerve
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the truth was, he acknowledged, settling back in the chair, that the situation was threatening to unnerve him completely.

    Gone Fishing James H. Schmitz
  • If a single scream could unnerve me that much it had to be bad.

    The Man the Martians Made Frank Belknap Long
  • As he did it he avoided glancing at the sleeper, but not lest pity should unnerve him; merely to avoid spilling.

    Peter and Wendy James Matthew Barrie
  • Don't try to talk; such a sight is enough to unnerve any man.

    That Affair Next Door Anna Katharine Green
  • The strain of these latter days had been very great, and the thought of Bernel tended to unnerve her.

British Dictionary definitions for unnerve


(transitive) to cause to lose courage, strength, confidence, self-control, etc
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 unnerve

1620s, "to destroy the strength of," from un- (2) + nerve. Meaning "to deprive of courage" is recorded from 1704. Related: Unnerved; unnerving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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