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nail-biting

[neyl-bahy-ting] /ˈneɪlˌbaɪ tɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act or practice of biting one's fingernails, especially as the result of anxiety or nervousness.
2.
Informal. nervousness:
The announcement that the trade agreement had been signed ended a week of nail-biting on Wall Street.
adjective
3.
Informal. causing nervousness:
The nail-biting part of the canoe trip was through the stretches of white water.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95
Related forms
nail-biter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for nail-biting
  • But it also meant a nail-biting journey in the car with my father, for whom driving was sport.
  • The government clearly faces some nail-biting months.
  • Public opinion and local planners are often more sceptical than national authorities-so getting permits is a nail-biting business.
  • But snapping the perfect shot of the jaw shattering bone is a nail-biting trial-and-error process.
  • His victory wasn't without a few nail-biting moments.
  • It is a little anxiety-provoking, but the results will be mind-blowing, so the nail-biting should be worth it.
  • There's time-lapse photography, footage shot on infrared film and some nail-biting moments that are milked for melodrama.
British Dictionary definitions for nail-biting

nail-biting

noun
1.
the act or habit of biting one's fingernails
2.
  1. anxiety or tension
  2. (as modifier): nail-biting suspense
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
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4
6
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