Dictionary.com

nail-biting

[ neyl-bahy-ting ]
/ ˈneɪlˌbaɪ tɪŋ /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: nail-biting / nail-bitings on Thesaurus.com

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.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of nail-biting

First recorded in 1890–95

OTHER WORDS FROM nail-biting

nail-biter, noun

Words nearby nail-biting

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use nail-biting in a sentence

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
FEEDBACK