nail-biting

[ neyl-bahy-ting ]
/ ˈneɪlˌbaɪ tɪŋ /

noun

the act or practice of biting one's fingernails, especially as the result of anxiety or nervousness.
Informal. nervousness: The announcement that the trade agreement had been signed ended a week of nail-biting on Wall Street.

adjective

Informal. causing nervousness: The nail-biting part of the canoe trip was through the stretches of white water.

Nearby words

  1. nail technician,
  2. nail up,
  3. nail varnish,
  4. nail violin,
  5. nail-biter,
  6. nail-patella syndrome,
  7. nail-sick,
  8. nailbiter,
  9. nailbrush,
  10. nailclipper

Origin of nail-biting

First recorded in 1890–95

Related formsnail-bit·er, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nail-biting


British Dictionary definitions for nail-biting

nail-biting

noun

the act or habit of biting one's fingernails
  1. anxiety or tension
  2. (as modifier)nail-biting suspense
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