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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to the nerves or nervous system: nervous tissue.
  • adj. Stemming from or affecting the nerves or nervous system: a nervous disorder.
  • adj. Easily agitated or distressed; high-strung or jumpy.
  • adj. Marked by or having a feeling of unease or apprehension: nervous moments before takeoff.
  • adj. Vigorous in style or feeling; spirited: "the nervous thrust of a modern creation” ( Henry A. Kissinger).
  • adj. Archaic Strong; sinewy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Easily agitated or alarmed; on edge or edgy.
  • adj. Apprehensive, anxious, hesitant, worried.
  • adj. Relating to or affecting the nerves.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Possessing nerve; sinewy; strong; vigorous.
  • adj. Possessing or manifesting vigor of mind; characterized by strength in sentiment or style; forcible; spirited.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the nerves; seated in the nerves
  • adj. Having the nerves weak, diseased, or easily excited; subject to, or suffering from, undue excitement of the nerves; easily agitated or annoyed.
  • adj. Sensitive; excitable; timid.
  • adj. Apprehensive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Full of nerves.
  • Sinewy; strong; vigorous; well-strung.
  • Possessing or manifesting vigor of mind; characterized by force or strength in sentiment or style: as, a nervous historian.
  • Of or pertaining to the nerves; seated in or affecting some part of the nervous system: as, a nervous disease; a nervous impulse; a nervous action.
  • Having the nerves affected; having weak ordiseased nerves; easily agitated or excited; weak; timid.
  • In botany, same as nerved.
  • Synonyms Forcible.
  • Timorous, excitable, high-strung.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. easily agitated
  • adj. excited in anticipation
  • adj. of or relating to the nervous system
  • adj. unpredictably excitable (especially of horses)
  • adj. causing or fraught with or showing anxiety


Middle English, sinewy, containing nerves, from Latin nervōsus, sinewy, from nervus, sinew; see nerve.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin nervōsus (Wiktionary)



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