nerf

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English[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

From automobile racing; to bump another car (ca. 1950s?).

Verb[edit]

nerf ‎(third-person singular simple present nerfs, present participle nerfing, simple past and past participle nerfed)

  1. (motor racing) To bump lightly, whether accidentally or purposefully.
    A racer will often nerf another as a psychological tactic.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From the trademark NERF (an abbreviation of "non-expanding recreational foam"), which sold toy guns firing missiles of soft foam, ineffective as actual weapons (1969).

Verb[edit]

nerf ‎(third-person singular simple present nerfs, present participle nerfing, simple past and past participle nerfed)

  1. (slang, video games) to weaken (a character, a weapon, a spell, etc.) between multiple installments of a series of games or versions of the same game
    The lightning spell was originally pretty powerful, but in the sequel they nerfed it so it became completely useless.

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From earlier nerve, from Middle Dutch *narwe, from Old Dutch *narwa, from Proto-Germanic *narwō. For the change of -rwe → -rf, compare verf.

Noun[edit]

nerf f ‎(plural nerven, diminutive nerfje n)

  1. grain of wood

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin nervus.

Noun[edit]

nerf f ‎(plural nerven, diminutive nerfje n)

  1. (obsolete) nerve
  2. vein of a leaf

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin nervus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerf m ‎(plural nerfs)

  1. (anatomy) nerve
  2. (figuratively) force, power, strength
    Les nerfs, les garçons! On n'est pas sur un bateau de plaisance.Put some muscle into it, boys! We are not on a pleasure boat!

Derived terms[edit]

External links[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerf m (plural nerfz)

  1. nerve

Old French[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerf m ‎(oblique plural ners, nominative singular ners, nominative plural nerf)

  1. nerve
    • 1303, Bernard de Gordon, Fleur de lis de medecine (a.k.a. lilium medicine), page 185 of this essay:
      Donc lepre est maladie de chair et non pas du cueur, ne des os, de des nerfs etc.
      Therefore leprosy is a disease of the flesh and not of the heart, nor of the bones, nor of the nerves, etc.

Welsh[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English nerve.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerf f (plural nerfau)

  1. nerve

Derived terms[edit]