Definition of live on one's nerves (or one's nerve ends) in English:

live on one's nerves (or one's nerve ends)


  • Be extremely anxious or tense.

    ‘a frenetic match which had 24,500 fans living on their nerve ends’
    • ‘But he also gives an insight into the thrill of living on your nerves, often literally running for your life, with the almost constant adrenalin rush of chasing a story.’
    • ‘Two late points from the midlanders left Mayo living on their nerves as wave after wave of maroon warriors raced forward looking for the equalising goal but it wasn't to be.’
    • ‘So what if they were living on their nerves for the second half?’
    • ‘UK workers are nearly as stress free as we are apparently, but the Greeks and the Italians are living on their nerves.’
    • ‘I live on my nerves and I am also a complete insomniac - I can be up all night.’
    • ‘And millions live on their nerves, fearing the awful consequences any rise in interest rates could have on them and their families.’
    • ‘But they had to live on their nerves at times in the second half after a double half-time substitution gave Charlton a shot in the arm.’
    • ‘City could only live on their nerves for so long and a minute before the break Sunderland finally broke through.’
    • ‘Mayo were certainly living on their nerves in those last few seconds and the sounding of the final whistle must have been sweet music to the ears of everybody at the game with Mayo blood racing through their veins.’
    • ‘But Liverpool still lived on their nerves, trying to snatch a decisive breakaway goal while being subjected to far more pressure than they can have expected at half-time.’