nervous

[nur-vuhs]
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adjective
  1. highly excitable; unnaturally or acutely uneasy or apprehensive: to become nervous under stress.
  2. of or relating to the nerves: nervous tension.
  3. affecting the nerves: nervous diseases.
  4. suffering from, characterized by, or originating in disordered nerves.
  5. characterized by or attended with acute uneasiness or apprehension: a nervous moment for us all.
  6. having or containing nerves.
  7. sinewy or strong.
  8. Archaic. vigorous or spirited.

Origin of nervous

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin nervōsus sinewy, equivalent to nerv(us) nerve + -ōsus -ous
Related formsnerv·ous·ly, adverbnerv·ous·ness, nounnon·ner·vous, adjectivenon·ner·vous·ly, adverbnon·ner·vous·ness, nouno·ver·nerv·ous, adjectiveo·ver·nerv·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·nerv·ous·ness, nounsem·i·nerv·ous, adjectivesem·i·nerv·ous·ly, adverbsem·i·nerv·ous·ness, nounun·nerv·ous, adjectiveun·nerv·ous·ly, adverbun·nerv·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for nervous

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Antonyms for nervous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for nervous

Contemporary Examples of nervous

Historical Examples of nervous

  • Hipparete blushed, and with a quick and nervous motion touched her cithara.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Don't let them see you get nervous when they turn out of the coaches.

  • It made her interlace her fingers with nervous anxiety, but it set a fire in her eyes.

  • And the sight of his white face and his nervous right hand was too much for them.

  • The girl's answer was uttered with nervous eagerness which revealed her own stress of fear.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana


British Dictionary definitions for nervous

nervous

adjective
  1. very excitable or sensitive; highly strung
  2. (often foll by of) apprehensive or worriedI'm nervous of traffic
  3. of, relating to, or containing nerves; neuralnervous tissue
  4. affecting the nerves or nervous tissuea nervous disease
  5. archaic active, vigorous, or forceful
Derived Formsnervously, adverbnervousness, noun
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 nervous
adj.

c.1400, "affecting the sinews," from Latin nervosus "sinewy, vigorous," from nervus "sinew, nerve" (see nerve). Meaning "of or belonging to the nerves" in the modern sense is from 1660s. Meaning "suffering disorder of the nervous system" is from 1734; illogical sense "restless, agitated, lacking nerve" is 1740. Widespread popular use as a euphemism for mental forced the medical community to coin neurological to replace it in the older sense. Nervous wreck first attested 1862. Related: Nervously; nervousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nervous in Medicine

nervous

[nûrvəs]
adj.
  1. Of or relating to the nerves or nervous system.
  2. Stemming from or affecting the nerves or nervous system, as a disease.
  3. Easily agitated or distressed.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.