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nervous

[nur-vuh s] /ˈnɜr vəs/
adjective
1.
highly excitable; unnaturally or acutely uneasy or apprehensive:
to become nervous under stress.
2.
of or relating to the nerves:
nervous tension.
3.
affecting the nerves:
nervous diseases.
4.
suffering from, characterized by, or originating in disordered nerves.
5.
characterized by or attended with acute uneasiness or apprehension:
a nervous moment for us all.
6.
having or containing nerves.
7.
sinewy or strong.
8.
Archaic. vigorous or spirited.
Origin of nervous
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin nervōsus sinewy, equivalent to nerv(us) nerve + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
nervously, adverb
nervousness, noun
nonnervous, adjective
nonnervously, adverb
nonnervousness, noun
overnervous, adjective
overnervously, adverb
overnervousness, noun
seminervous, adjective
seminervously, adverb
seminervousness, noun
unnervous, adjective
unnervously, adverb
unnervousness, noun
Synonyms
1. fearful, timid, timorous.
Antonyms
1. confident, bold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nervousness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Either the X-ray or radium had caused her dermatitis and nervousness.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • She misunderstood: he laughed, but his nervousness was genuine.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • Like all people tormented by nervousness, heat distracted him.

    Against The Grain Joris-Karl Huysmans
  • He was very delicate and afflicted with nervousness that amounted to insanity at times.

  • It was impossible for these first callers to restrain a thrill of nervousness as to the nature of the reception before them.

    Lady Cassandra Mrs George de Horne Vaizey
British Dictionary definitions for nervousness

nervous

/ˈnɜːvəs/
adjective
1.
very excitable or sensitive; highly strung
2.
(often foll by of) apprehensive or worried: I'm nervous of traffic
3.
of, relating to, or containing nerves; neural: nervous tissue
4.
affecting the nerves or nervous tissue: a nervous disease
5.
(archaic) active, vigorous, or forceful
Derived Forms
nervously, adverb
nervousness, 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
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Word Origin and History for nervousness

nervous

adj.

c.1400, "affecting the sinews," from Latin nervosus "sinewy, vigorous," from nervus "sinew, nerve" (see nerve). Meaning "of or belonging to the nerves" in the modern sense is from 1660s. 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 1862. Related: Nervously; nervousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nervousness in Medicine

nervous nerv·ous (nûr'vəs)
adj.

  1. Of or relating to the nerves or nervous system.

  2. Stemming from or affecting the nerves or nervous system, as a disease.

  3. Easily agitated or distressed.


nerv'ous·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for nervousness

nervous

adjective

  1. cool, far out
  2. jazzy (1950s+ Beat & cool talk)
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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