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. 2019
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