Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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)
What is the pronunciation of nerve?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “nerve” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

give the green light to sth

to give permission for someone to do something or for something to happen

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More