Meaning of NERVE in English


Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.


Nerves are long thin fibres that transmit messages between your brain and other parts of your body.

...spinal ~s. cases where the ~ fibres are severed.



If you refer to someone’s ~s, you mean their ability to cope with problems such as stress, worry, and danger.

Jill’s ~s are stretched to breaking point...

I can be very patient, and then I can burst if my ~s are worn out.

N-PLURAL: usu poss N


You can refer to someone’s feelings of anxiety or tension as ~s.

I just played badly. It wasn’t ~s.

= nervousness



Nerve is the courage that you need in order to do something difficult or dangerous.

The brandy made him choke, but it restored his ~...

He never got up enough ~ to meet me.

= courage



If someone or something gets on your ~s, they annoy or irritate you. (INFORMAL)

Lately he’s not done a bloody thing and it’s getting on my ~s.

PHRASE: V inflects


If you say that someone has a ~ or has the ~ to do something, you are criticizing them for doing something which you feel they had no right to do. (INFORMAL)

They’ve got a ~, complaining about our behaviour...

He had the ~ to ask me to prove who I was.

PHRASE: V inflects disapproval


If you hold your ~ or keep your ~, you remain calm and determined in a difficult situation.

He held his ~ to beat Andre Agassi in a five-set thriller on Court One...

We need to keep our ~ now.

= keep your cool

PHRASE: V inflects


If you lose your ~, you suddenly panic and become too afraid to do something that you were about to do.

The bomber had lost his ~ and fled.

PHRASE: V inflects


If you say that you have touched a ~ or touched a raw ~, you mean that you have accidentally upset someone by talking about something that they feel strongly about or are very sensitive about.

Alistair saw Henry shrink, as if the words had touched a ~...

The mere mention of John had touched a very raw ~ indeed.

PHRASE: V inflects

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