verb (used with object), nerved, nerv·ing.
Origin of nerve
Synonyms for nerve
Antonyms for nerve
Related Words for nerveheart, confidence, stomach, grit, courage, determination, fortitude, spirit, vigor, force, energy, gameness, gall, presumption, spunk, chutzpah, endurance, guts, crust, assumption
Examples from the Web for nerve
Contemporary Examples of nerve
Few have the nerve to call him and he's usually pleased when an old friend does.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Then he lost his nerve and decided to live after all, and I called for help.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
For anyone—not just a fan—the first time performing on camera can be nerve wracking.Sotheby’s for Sex: The Problem with Auctioning Off Sex with A Porn Star
November 15, 2014
She was a perky redhead of about 30 with lively blue eyes, a petite figure, and lots of nerve.Gay Talese on Charlie Manson’s Home on the Range
October 31, 2014
But for some reason that one quote touched a nerve with her fellow countrymen.Annie Lennox Doesn’t Give a Damn What You Think
October 21, 2014
Historical Examples of nerve
I wonder you got the nerve to sit there now with maybe ten men trailin' you to this cabin.
There he stood for a moment, and Andrew knew that he was gathering his nerve.
There aren't three men in the country with the nerve and the hand for it.
She had come through so much that every nerve was crying in passionate protest.
"Now stop this nerve strain and this foolishness," he said tersely.Her Father's Daughter
Word Origin for nerve
late 14c., nerf "sinew, tendon," from Old French nerf and directly from Medieval Latin nervus "nerve," from Latin nervus "sinew, tendon; cord, bowstring," metathesis of pre-Latin *neuros, from PIE *(s)neu- "tendon, sinew" (cf. Sanskrit snavan- "band, sinew," Armenian neard "sinew," Greek neuron "sinew, tendon," in Galen "nerve"). Sense of "fibers that convey impulses between the brain and the body" is from c.1600.
Secondary senses developed from meaning "strength, vigor, energy" (c.1600), from the "sinew" sense. Hence figurative sense of "feeling, courage," first attested c.1600; that of "courage, boldness" is from 1809; bad sense "impudence, cheek" is from 1887. Latin nervus also had a figurative sense of "vigor, force, power, strength," as did Greek neuron. From the neurological sense come Nerves "condition of nervousness," attested from 1792; to get on someone's nerves, from 1895. War of nerves "psychological warfare" is from 1915.
c.1500, "to ornament with threads;" see nerve (n.). Meaning "to give strength or vigor" is from 1749. Related: Nerved; nerving.
see bundle of nerves; get on someone's nerves; get up (one's nerve); have a nerve; lose one's nerve; of all the nerve; war of nerves.