Definition of nervy in English:


adjectivenervier, nerviest

  • 1British Easily agitated or alarmed; nervous.

    ‘he was nervy and on edge’
    • ‘They were nervy sorts, fidgety, who watched your hands as you used the mobile or hunted in your bag for something but would never catch your eye.’
    • ‘I don't have a television (and have never been a big fan anyway - it makes me nervy and uncomfortable) or net access at home, but I find the radio an excellent companion.’
    • ‘Result, everyone is left feeling anxious, nervy and vaguely irritated.’
    • ‘United were understandably nervy throughout this crucial match, and they looked to have blown their chances of all three points when David Bingham equalised Jim McIntyre's early counter.’
    • ‘But then we got a bit nervy and sat back and that's something that we're going to have to address again in training.’
    • ‘He is a nervy, jumpy sort of a chap, who follows people with his eyes as they move about a room, and he is constantly twitching about, seeking approval and trying to be everyone's mom.’
    • ‘David Toms produced a stunning back nine to edge out a nervy Sergio Garcia in a titanic tussle in the singles.’
    • ‘The effort of getting ready to perform - her projector a substitute for a musical instrument - leaves her too nervy to talk about the process.’
    • ‘Blue-chip shares were left teetering at the 4000 mark yesterday as nervy investors continued to fret over the global economy.’
    • ‘The nervous and nervy man couldn't believe that life was treating him so badly.’
    • ‘It added nervy investors were quick to exact revenge with shares in the company making the warning falling by an average of 24% in the first day.’
    • ‘We were a bit nervy after our recent results, but John Martin was unbelievable.’
    • ‘But investors in London were nervy from the off after computer games retailer Game issued a profits warning and sent a chill through the sector.’
    • ‘In private, all these guys were quiet, nervy and insecure gay men living in an era when it was marginally safe to out oneself in the safe confines of the entertainment industry, but definitely not outside of that.’
    • ‘‘There was no way they were going to beat us,’ an elated Wes Bateman said later when asked if the Irish got a little nervy towards the end.’
    • ‘I have gone from being very pressurised and tense and nervy to being more relaxed and far happier with how things are.’
    • ‘His eyes have a certain amount of little-boy-lost about them and his slightly nervy, jumpy presence also helps him appear a lot younger than his 43 years.’
    • ‘Blue-chip stocks fell sharply yesterday, as nervy investors caught sight of more gloomy economic data on the US horizon.’
    • ‘Our fellows were nervy, edgy, and in the circumstances it may have been just as well that the Iranians strung eleven men behind the ball when Ireland had possession.’
    • ‘‘Red makes adults nervy, edgy, even aggressive,’ said Gimbel.’
    nervous, anxious, tense, on edge, edgy, strained, stressed, agitated, apprehensive, in a state of nerves, in a state of agitation, uneasy, restless, worked up, keyed up, overwrought, wrought up, strung out, jumpy, on tenterhooks, with one's stomach in knots, fidgety, fearful, frightened, scared, with one's heart in one's mouth, like a cat on a hot tin roof, quaking, trembling, shaking, shaking in one's shoes, shaky, on pins and needles, in a cold sweat, fevered, febrile
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    1. 1.1 Characterized or produced by apprehension or uncertainty.
      ‘they made a nervy start’
      • ‘It's a nervy undertaking, but that's what local artist and Night of Artists festival organizer Phil Alain did in 1997.’
      • ‘It is going to be a tense, nervy, and, ultimately, unforgettable series.’
      • ‘A nervy opening and some heat-fuelled laxidasical moments in the second-half aside, there was never any real danger of the City leaving bathed in sun Church Road red-faced.’
      • ‘After a nervy start, the home side opened the scoring on 12 minutes and Carl McCoy's left wing cross found Glyn Barker unmarked in the box and he made no mistake from 10 yards as he volleyed past Matthew Conkie.’
      • ‘Southend were forced to defend in numbers as the closing minutes ticked away, and while they had to endure some nervy moments, they held on to gain a narrow win.’
      • ‘We didn't play well, there's no doubt about that, so naturally, when you're not playing well, you don't want a nervy finish.’
      • ‘Slight gains on Wall Street, and a smattering of bargain hunters, saw the index nudge ahead 9.2 points to 3490.0 by the close of another nervy day.’
      • ‘It's surreal, and with a little more tweaking, it could even have been nervy and discomfiting, but it's too detached from the ‘Ring’ mythology to be effective in this film.’
      • ‘‘It was a very nervy match, which is remarkable this early in the season,’ he said.’
      • ‘He carried his bat for 102 from 153 deliveries and provided the backbone of an innings which featured a nervy patch during which three of the upper order were dismissed for ducks.’
      • ‘It should have made for a tense and nervy finish but the goal provided the wake-up call as City switched back on the concentration button and defended resolutely thereafter.’
      • ‘Makmot increased Merstham's lead shortly after the break, but a late goal by Wallingford's Henry ensured a nervy finish for the visitors, who eventually held on to seal the points.’
      • ‘After a nervy first minute in which Oxford nearly scored, Cambridge found their rhythm and, holding a solid line upfield, began to punish Oxford's forwards who were too slow to the breakdown.’
      • ‘Most stand-up comedians have a nervy edge - it's no picnic, after all, standing alone on stage while people stare at you, demanding you make them laugh.’
      • ‘Hampton had to survive a nervy six minutes of added time (presumably for time wasting, substitutions etc) before being able to celebrate an Easter cup final appearance.’
      • ‘Six nervy minutes were played with neither club willing to go for the jugular until Harnett made sure two fine Eoin Foley blocks were in vain, adding two quick points to capture the title.’
      • ‘This game has assumed a completely different character now - it's nervy, gritty and tense.’
      • ‘This is the cutting edge and it is nervy but this is why we are all in the game.’
      • ‘But overall the Footsie has had a nervy week - mainly on the back of poor US sentiment - and the index has fallen a net 126 points.’
      • ‘They may well still get it, but it looks like they will have to endure the usual nervy few weeks, waiting for that big final spending spree, which inevitably comes as late as possible.’
  • 2North American informal Bold or impudent.

    ‘it was kind of nervy for Billy to be telling him how to play’
    • ‘On Wasp Star, XTC come back to their nervy, new-wavish geek-boy rock, producing a startlingly fresh album for guys that have been doing this for over 20 years.’
    • ‘Krugman caught my notice for being one guy with a really nervy suggestion on how Japan could get out of its deflationary spiral.’
    • ‘The United Nations chief is charming and charismatic, but his nervy doctrine for ending wars makes world leaders twitch.’
    • ‘Audiard has done a masterful job of creating a brash, nervy film that is poignant without ever being pretentious.’
    impertinent, impudent, cheeky, ill-mannered, bad mannered, unmannerly, rude, impolite, uncivil, lacking civility, discourteous, disrespectful, insubordinate, contemptuous, presumptuous
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  • 3literary Vigorous or strong.