c.1400, "affecting the sinews," from L. nervosus
"sinewy, vigorous," from nervus
"sinew, nerve" (see nerve
). Sense of "of or belonging to the nerves" in the modern sense is from 1665. 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 1899.