nail biter

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See also: nailbiter and nail-biter


Alternative forms[edit]


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nail biter (plural nail biters)

  1. (literally) One who habitually bites or chews their fingernails.
  2. (figuratively) A situation which causes anxiety, suspense, nervousness or discomfort. A cliffhanger.
    It was a real nail biter waiting for the test results.
    • 2018 August 8, Frank Bruni, “A Nail-Biter in Ohio Is a Democratic Triumph”, in New York Times[1]:
      And in a shockingly misogynistic ad, Republicans placed an image of O’Connor in a huddle of three supposedly nightmarish mascots of liberalism, all women: Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton. O’Connor absorbed all of this and still turned the race into a nail-biter.