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nerve

[nurv] /nɜrv/
noun
1.
one or more bundles of fibers forming part of a system that conveys impulses of sensation, motion, etc., between the brain or spinal cord and other parts of the body.
2.
a sinew or tendon:
to strain every nerve.
3.
firmness or courage under trying circumstances:
an assignment requiring nerve.
4.
boldness; audacity; impudence; impertinence:
He had the nerve to say that?
5.
nerves, nervousness:
an attack of nerves.
6.
strength, vigor, or energy:
a test of nerve and stamina.
7.
(not in technical use) pulp tissue of a tooth.
8.
Botany. a vein, as in a leaf.
9.
a line, or one of a system of lines, extending across something.
verb (used with object), nerved, nerving.
10.
to give strength, vigor, or courage to:
Encouragement had nerved him for the struggle.
Idioms
11.
get on one's nerves, to irritate, annoy, or provoke one:
Boisterous children get on my nerves.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English: nerve, tendon < Latin nervus sinew, tendon; akin to Greek neûron (see neuron); replacing Middle English nerf < Middle French < Latin, as above
Synonyms
3. steadfastness, intrepidity, fortitude, resolution. 6. power, force, might. 10. strengthen, fortify, invigorate, steel, brace.
Antonyms
6. weakness. 10. weaken.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for nerve
  • Radial nerve dysfunction is a problem with the radial nerve.
  • Evidence of a circadian rhythm for muscle sympathetic nerve activity in humans.
  • To identify which kind of nerve was connected to the bumps, she injected a dye into the nerve itself.
  • He touched some fundamental nerve that still vibrates.
  • The implants are electronic devices inserted into the inner ear of deaf people to stimulate the auditory nerve.
  • Physical movement begins as electrical impulses generated by the activity of thousands of nerve cells.
  • Smaller fingers mean closer nerve endings and the ability to resolve finer detail.
  • The nerve bundles, which are presumed to be light-sensitive, transmit the optical information to the rest of the nervous system.
  • For years, scientists believed that damaged nerve tissue could not be repaired because neurons are incapable of regeneration.
  • These are quite effective in reducing the prion levels of cultured nerve cells.
British Dictionary definitions for nerve

nerve

/nɜːv/
noun
1.
any of the cordlike bundles of fibres that conduct sensory or motor impulses between the brain or spinal cord and another part of the body related adjective neural
2.
courage, bravery, or steadfastness
3.
lose one's nerve, to become timid, esp failing to perform some audacious act
4.
(informal) boldness or effrontery; impudence: he had the nerve to swear at me
5.
muscle or sinew (often in the phrase strain every nerve)
6.
a large vein in a leaf
7.
any of the veins of an insect's wing
8.
touch a nerve, touch a raw nerve, hit a nerve, hit a raw nerve, strike a nerve, strike a raw nerve, to mention or bring to mind a sensitive issue or subject
verb (transitive)
9.
to give courage to (oneself); steel (oneself)
10.
to provide with nerve or nerves
See also nerves
Word Origin
C16: from Latin nervus; related to Greek neuron; compare Sanskrit snāvan sinew
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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Word Origin and History for nerve
n.

late 14c., nerf "sinew, tendon," from Old French nerf and directly from Medieval Latin nervus "nerve," from Latin nervus "sinew, tendon; cord, bowstring," metathesis of pre-Latin *neuros, from PIE *(s)neu- "tendon, sinew" (cf. Sanskrit snavan- "band, sinew," Armenian neard "sinew," Greek neuron "sinew, tendon," in Galen "nerve"). Sense of "fibers that convey impulses between the brain and the body" is from c.1600.

Secondary senses developed from meaning "strength, vigor, energy" (c.1600), from the "sinew" sense. Hence figurative sense of "feeling, courage," first attested c.1600; that of "courage, boldness" is from 1809; bad sense "impudence, cheek" is from 1887. Latin nervus also had a figurative sense of "vigor, force, power, strength," as did Greek neuron. From the neurological sense come Nerves "condition of nervousness," attested from 1792; to get on someone's nerves, from 1895. War of nerves "psychological warfare" is from 1915.

v.

c.1500, "to ornament with threads;" see nerve (n.). Meaning "to give strength or vigor" is from 1749. Related: Nerved; nerving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nerve in Medicine

nerve (nûrv)
n.

  1. Any of the cordlike bundles of nervous tissue made up of myelinated or unmyelinated nerve fibers and held together by a connective tissue sheath through which sensory stimuli and motor impulses pass between the brain or other parts of the central nervous system and the eyes, glands, muscles, and other parts of the body.

  2. The sensitive tissue in the pulp of a tooth.

  3. nerves Nervous agitation caused by fear, anxiety, or stress.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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nerve in Science
nerve
  (nûrv)   
Any of the bundles of fibers made up of neurons that carry sensory and motor information throughout the body in the form of electrical impulses. Afferent nerves carry information to the central nervous system, and efferent nerves carry information from the central nervous system to the muscles, organs, and glands. Efferent nerves include the nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which control voluntary motor activity and of the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary motor activity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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nerve in Culture

nerve definition


A bundle of fibers composed of neurons that connects the body parts and organs to the central nervous system and carries impulses from one part of the body to another.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for nerve

nerve

noun
  1. Courage; guts (1809+)
  2. Audacity; chutzpah (1887+)
Related Terms

get on someone's nerves, have a nerve


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with nerve
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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