Why was clemency trending last week?


[nur-vuh s] /ˈnɜr vəs/
highly excitable; unnaturally or acutely uneasy or apprehensive:
to become nervous under stress.
of or relating to the nerves:
nervous tension.
affecting the nerves:
nervous diseases.
suffering from, characterized by, or originating in disordered nerves.
characterized by or attended with acute uneasiness or apprehension:
a nervous moment for us all.
having or containing nerves.
sinewy or strong.
Archaic. vigorous or spirited.
Origin of nervous
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
1. fearful, timid, timorous.
1. confident, bold. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nervousness
  • But underpinning the weakness is nervousness over the state of the public finances, given the crisis in banking.
  • Their unconsummated compliments leave their targets in a confused state of flattery, frustration and nervousness.
  • His nervousness is completely gone, his erratic behavior when it was time for him to go outside is completely gone.
  • Professional athletes and actors say some nervousness helps them concentrate better.
  • But there is also nervousness in some quarters, as success will be expensive.
  • nervousness, as well as poorly defined motives, is the cause of hesitant speech.
  • Naturally, nervousness works against the shooter, increasing the heart rate and distracting from the intense concentration needed.
  • Her father comes in and goes out at regular intervals, in sheer nervousness.
  • We'd have to get over our nervousness about security.
  • She recounts in detail her nervousness around him, her supposedly dangerous fascination with his charm.
British Dictionary definitions for nervousness


very excitable or sensitive; highly strung
(often foll by of) apprehensive or worried: I'm nervous of traffic
of, relating to, or containing nerves; neural: nervous tissue
affecting the nerves or nervous tissue: a nervous disease
(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



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)

  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


  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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