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[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 unnerved
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • unnerved as she had first been by the disaster, she realized that to give way to her trouble would not do the least bit of good.

    Ruth Fielding Down East Alice B. Emerson
  • Madeleine was unnerved by the agitating incidents of the morning.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • But the paper is still white, and the pen lies idle waiting for this unnerved hand to gain strength to hold it.

    Fan W.H. Hudson (AKA Henry Harford)
  • The tragedy had unnerved him, and she must stay with him until he recovered.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
  • She burst into hysterical laughter, and Minnie, almost as unnerved, caught her about the waist.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
British Dictionary definitions for unnerved


(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 unnerved



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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