or nerve-wrack·ing



extremely irritating, annoying, or trying: a nerve-racking day; a nerve-racking noise.

Origin of nerve-racking

First recorded in 1805–15 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nerve-racking

Contemporary Examples of nerve-racking

Historical Examples of nerve-racking

  • On the other hand the German soldier had a nerve-racking part to play.

  • It must have been a nerve-racking session for him, that interview with the captain.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • The whole situation had become a nerve-racking tragedy of mind and action.

    The Plunderer

    Roy Norton

  • Nothing from within the house broke that nerve-racking stillness.

  • If only he wouldn't answer every statement or question with that nerve-racking 'yeah'!


    Clifford Donald Simak

British Dictionary definitions for nerve-racking




very distressing, exhausting, or harrowing
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

Word Origin and History for nerve-racking

also nerveracking, 1812, from nerve + present participle of verbal sense of rack (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper