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[uhn-nurv] /ʌnˈnɜrv/
verb (used with object), unnerved, unnerving.
to deprive of courage, strength, determination, or confidence; upset:
Fear unnerved him.
Origin of unnerve
1595-1605; un-2 + nerve Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unnerve
  • Burning churches, and the perceived danger of worsening violence, will unnerve foreign investors and tourists.
  • The final piece of the plan may unnerve some taxpayers.
  • But note that silence can also be used to unnerve a negotiating opponent.
  • They would unnerve their tormentors even in the midst of their sufferings by seeking to convert them.
  • Metropolis remains a marvel of design, and it still has the power to thrill and unnerve.
  • All these actions were carried out in such a way was designed to attempt to unnerve city hall.
  • Weak economic data coupled with constant media attention have served to further unnerve investors.
  • Anticipate this and don't let the environment unnerve you.
  • Because the sudden appearance of bicyclists may unnerve stock, many people recommend separating bicycles and stock.
  • Large-scale incidents do have the capacity to unnerve people.
British Dictionary definitions for unnerve


(transitive) to cause to lose courage, strength, confidence, self-control, etc
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 unnerve

1620s, "to destroy the strength of," from un- (2) + nerve. Meaning "to deprive of courage" is recorded from 1704. Related: Unnerved; unnerving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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