Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “nerve”

nerve

noun  /nɜrv/ us  

nerve noun (BODY FIBER)

biology [C] a group of long, thin fibers in the body, esp. in the brain, which send and receive messages that control how the body reacts to signals it receives, such as to changes in temperature or pressure against the skin

nerve noun (BRAVERY)

[U] bravery or confidence necessary to do something difficult or unpleasant: It takes a lot of nerve to get up in front of a class when you’re not used to it. [U] Nerve also means the ability to do something rude without caring about other people’s feelings: She has some nerve. I can't believe she had the nerve to call me fat!
(Definition of nerve from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of nerve?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “nerve”

Definitions of “nerve” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

mutant

an organism that is different from others of its type because of a permanent change in its genes

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford​,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More