[ nur-vee ]
See synonyms for: nervynerviness on

adjective,nerv·i·er, nerv·i·est.
  1. brashly presumptuous or insolent; pushy: a nervy thing to say; a nervy trick to pull.

  2. having or showing courage; brave or bold: the nervy feats of the mountaineers.

  1. strong; sinewy; vigorous: a hard, nervy physique.

  2. Chiefly British. straining one's patience or forbearance; trying.

  3. nervous; excitable; on edge.

Origin of nervy

First recorded in 1600–10; nerve + -y1

Other words from nervy

  • nerv·i·ly, adverb
  • nerv·i·ness, noun

Words Nearby nervy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nervy in a sentence

  • He was one of the gregarious sort, a loud talker, nervy really, very familiar with all the passengers.

    Sea and Sardinia | D. H. Lawrence
  • Oh, ho, I see you are not as nervy as I thought, there was a mischievous glint in his merry black eyes.

British Dictionary definitions for nervy


/ (ˈnɜːvɪ) /

adjectivenervier or nerviest
  1. British informal tense or apprehensive

  2. having or needing bravery or endurance

  1. US and Canadian informal brash or cheeky

  2. archaic muscular; sinewy

Derived forms of nervy

  • nervily, adverb
  • nerviness, 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