nerve

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Recorded since circa 1374, from Medieval Latin nervus (nerve), from Latin nervus (sinew).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerve (plural nerves)

  1. (zoology) A bundle of neurons with their connective tissue sheaths, blood vessels and lymphatics.
    The nerves can be seen through the skin.
  2. (nonstandard, colloquial) A neuron.
  3. (botany) A vein in a leaf; a grain in wood
    Some plants have ornamental value because of their contrasting nerves
  4. Courage, boldness.
    He hasn't the nerve to tell her he likes her, what a wimp!
    • 2013, Daniel Taylor, Jack Wilshere scores twice to ease Arsenal to victory over Marseille (in The Guardian, 26 November 2013)[1]
      A trip to the whistling, fire-cracking Stadio San Paolo is always a test of nerve but Wenger's men have already outplayed the Italians once.
  5. Patience. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  6. Stamina, endurance, fortitude.
    • Milton
      He led me on to mightiest deeds, / Above the nerve of mortal arm.
  7. Audacity, gall.
    He had the nerve to enter my house uninvited.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XVIII:
      “Oh?” she said. “So you have decided to revise my guest list for me? You have the nerve, the – the –” I saw she needed helping out. “Audacity,” I said, throwing her the line. “The audacity to dictate to me who I shall have in my house.” It should have been “whom”, but I let it go. “You have the –” “Crust.” “– the immortal rind,” she amended, and I had to admit it was stronger, “to tell me whom” – she got it right that time – “I may entertain at Brinkley Court and who” – wrong again – “I may not.”
  8. (in the plural) Agitation caused by fear, stress or other negative emotion.
    Ellie had a bad case of nerves before the big test.
  9. (obsolete) Sinew, tendon.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2
      Come on; obey: / Thy nerves are in their infancy again, / And have no vigour in them.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

Audacity, gall
brashness, brazenness, big balls

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

nerve (third-person singular simple present nerves, present participle nerving, simple past and past participle nerved)

  1. (transitive) To give courage; sometimes with "up".
    May their example nerve us to face the enemy.
  2. (transitive) To give strength
    The liquor nerved up several of the men after their icy march.

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]



Dutch[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerve f (plural nerven, diminutive nerfje n)

  1. Obsolete form of nerf.

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Verb[edit]

nerve

  1. first-person singular present indicative of nerver
  2. third-person singular present indicative of nerver
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of nerver
  4. first-person singular present subjunctive of nerver
  5. second-person singular imperative of nerver

German[edit]

Verb[edit]

nerve

  1. First-person singular present of nerven.
  2. First-person singular subjunctive I of nerven.
  3. Third-person singular subjunctive I of nerven.
  4. Imperative singular of nerven.

Latin[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerve

  1. vocative singular of nervus