or nail bit·er
- a person who bites his or her nails, especially habitually.
- a situation marked by anxiety or tension.
Origin of nail-biter
- 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.
- Informal. causing nervousness: The nail-biting part of the canoe trip was through the stretches of white water.
Origin of nail-biting
First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a person who bites his or her nails
- a person who is anxious or tense
- something that causes anxiety or tension
- the act or habit of biting one's fingernails
- anxiety or tension
- (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