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English definition of “nerve”

nerve

noun uk   /nɜːv/ us    /nɝːv/

nerve noun (BODY)

C2 [C] a group of long, thin fibres (= structures like threads) that carry information or instructions between the brain and other parts of the body: the optic nerve a spinal nerve nerve damage nerve fibres

nerve noun (COURAGE)

C2 [U] the courage or confidence necessary to do something difficult, unpleasant, or rude: It takes a lot of nerve to be a bomb disposal expert. I wanted to ask her out, but I lost my nerve and couldn't go through with it. [+ to infinitive] I didn't have the nerve to tell him what I really thought of his suggestion.

nerve noun (WORRY)

nerves [plural] B2 worry or anxiety about something that is going to happen: I never suffer from nerves when I'm speaking in public. She was a bundle of nerves (= very nervous) before the audition. I always have a cigarette to calm/steady my nerves (= make me less nervous) before I go on stage. get on sb's nerves B2 to annoy someone a lot: We really got on each other's nerves when we were living together. Please stop making that noise! It really gets on my nerves. steady/strong nerves B2 the ability to be calm in difficult situations: You need a cool head and steady nerves for this job.

nerve noun (RUDENESS)

C2 [S or U] the rudeness to do something that you know will upset other people: [+ to infinitive] She's late for work every day, but she still has the nerve to lecture me about punctuality. That man has such a nerve! He's always blaming me for things that are his fault. She drove the car into a tree and then told me it was my fault for not concentrating, of all the nerve!

nerve

verb uk   /nɜːv/ us    /nɝːv/
nerve yourself UK to make yourself brave enough to do something: [+ to infinitive] It took her several months before she eventually nerved herself (up) to invite him to her house.
(Definition of nerve from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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