Know how to use "fewer" and "less"? Find out.


[uhn-nurv] /ʌnˈnɜrv/
verb (used with object), unnerved, unnerving.
to deprive of courage, strength, determination, or confidence; upset:
Fear unnerved him.
1595-1605; un-2 + nerve Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for unnerved
  • Government was unnerved, confounded, and in a manner suspended.
  • When the unnerved scientists gathered the fragments, they noticed that the bone now revealed the inner ear.
  • Stick to what you know, elaborate on what you can, and smile to avoid appearing defensive or otherwise unnerved.
  • Even so, some of the invitees were unnerved by the e-mail message and say it was unpleasant to be cast as malcontents by the boss.
  • His horse was unnerved by the shadows and scents, so he did not linger.
  • Venter has famously started his own companies and plowed ahead in a way that has unnerved the scientific establishment.
  • She sometimes unnerved her colleagues with her raucous sense of humor and her braying laugh.
  • His performance had unnerved the crowd, which was perhaps its purpose.
  • They have been unnerved by its inability to chart a clear future for itself.
  • unnerved, the authorities began persecuting the opposition.
British Dictionary definitions for unnerved


(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unnerved



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for unnerve

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unnerved

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unnerved