- one or more bundles of fibers forming part of a system that conveys impulses of sensation, motion, etc., between the brain or spinal cord and other parts of the body.
- a sinew or tendon: to strain every nerve.
- firmness or courage under trying circumstances: an assignment requiring nerve.
- boldness; audacity; impudence; impertinence: He had the nerve to say that?
- nerves, nervousness: an attack of nerves.
- strength, vigor, or energy: a test of nerve and stamina.
- (not in technical use) pulp tissue of a tooth.
- Botany. a vein, as in a leaf.
- a line, or one of a system of lines, extending across something.
- to give strength, vigor, or courage to: Encouragement had nerved him for the struggle.
- get on one's nerves, to irritate, annoy, or provoke one: Boisterous children get on my nerves.
Origin of nerve
SynonymsSee more synonyms for nerve on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for nerves
I was going to ask if you had nerves about opening on Broadway without a marquee name.Nigel Lythgoe on How to Save Reality TV, ‘On the Town,’ and ‘Brokeback Ballroom’
October 22, 2014
It took a special, meticulous kind of person to accomplish the undertaking, someone with brains, patience, and nerves of steel.The High Society Bank Robber of the 1800s
J. North Conway
October 19, 2014
So I was more wrought with nerves about that than almost anything in that number.Oscars Host Neil Patrick Harris on His Best and Worst Emcee Moments (VIDEO)
Neil Patrick Harris
October 15, 2014
The thought of wearing shorts and swimsuits preyed on her nerves.‘All About That Bass’ Singer Meghan Trainor On Haters and Her Polarizing (and Unlikely) No. 1 Hit
October 7, 2014
Not surprisingly, this laid-back ball of nerves is also both intensely rational and explosively emotional.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
Was it not fear that had made his nerves so rocklike as he faced that crowd and made his get-away?
Terrible jarrin' to the nerves when folks come in and call on a sick man.
The man had no fear, he had no nerves; he was a machine, and death was his business.
His nerves had ceased their jangling under the tautening of necessity.Within the Law
But after a week or two her nerves were stretched taut as a string.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
- the imagined source of emotional controlmy nerves won't stand it
- anxiety, tension, or imbalanceshe's all nerves
- bundle of nerves a very nervous person
- get on one's nerves to irritate, annoy, or upset one
- any of the cordlike bundles of fibres that conduct sensory or motor impulses between the brain or spinal cord and another part of the bodyRelated adjective: neural
- courage, bravery, or steadfastness
- lose one's nerve to become timid, esp failing to perform some audacious act
- informal boldness or effrontery; impudencehe had the nerve to swear at me
- muscle or sinew (often in the phrase strain every nerve)
- a large vein in a leaf
- any of the veins of an insect's wing
- touch a nerve, touch a raw nerve, hit a nerve, hit a raw nerve, strike a nerve or strike a raw nerve to mention or bring to mind a sensitive issue or subject
- to give courage to (oneself); steel (oneself)
- to provide with nerve or nerves
Word Origin and History for nerves
c.1500, "to ornament with threads;" see nerve (n.). Meaning "to give strength or vigor" is from 1749. Related: Nerved; nerving.
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.
- Any of the cordlike bundles of nervous tissue made up of myelinated or unmyelinated nerve fibers and held together by a connective tissue sheath through which sensory stimuli and motor impulses pass between the brain or other parts of the central nervous system and the eyes, glands, muscles, and other parts of the body.
- The sensitive tissue in the pulp of a tooth.
- nerves Nervous agitation caused by fear, anxiety, or stress.
- Any of the bundles of fibers made up of neurons that carry sensory and motor information throughout the body in the form of electrical impulses. Afferent nerves carry information to the central nervous system, and efferent nerves carry information from the central nervous system to the muscles, organs, and glands. Efferent nerves include the nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which control voluntary motor activity and of the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary motor activity.
Idioms and Phrases with nerves
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.