Definition of nail-biter in English:



  • 1A situation causing great anxiety or tension.

    ‘a nail-biter of a victory’
    • ‘If we don't see a better consensus before November 2nd, it's going to be one nail-biter of a night.’
    • ‘Bring in the manicurists because this is going to be a nail-biter.’
    • ‘It's an absorbing enough match, without being a total nail-biter.’
    • ‘The grand finale is a nail-biter through a 14-mile, steep-cliffed gorge.’
    • ‘This is a genuine nail-biter and, upon occasion, stomach-turner.’
    • ‘This game was a sellout and a nail-biter, making the for the most exciting possible finish.’
    • ‘Well, I think he would have lost, but I think it would have been yet another nail-biter as well.’
    • ‘The Canada-Sweden game that followed was also a nail-biter, but Sweden controlled the second half and put a couple in late to get a well-deserved win.’
    • ‘Apart from rooting interest, the games were explosive nail-biters, swollen with drama, and all a sports fan could hope for.’
    • ‘And, speaking of nail-biters, the mission begins.’
    • ‘The Knights have not exactly been forced to endure a lot of nail-biters this season.’
    • ‘New Zealand won some nail-biters in the 1980s, but Australia, by good luck as much as good management, then enjoyed a decade of winning close ones.’
    • ‘The book ‘never even resembles a nail-biter,’ said one. ‘Just too tame,’ said another.’
    • ‘Early on in Saturday's game, it appeared as though the Warriors were going to repeat their previous achievement, but the game quickly became a nail-biter.’
    • ‘The fight on the cable car is still a nail-biter.’
    • ‘But like the Pats, they lost two nail-biters, 20-17 to the Rams in the season opener and a 21-20 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.’
    • ‘And while the Panthers had more luck in the Super Bowl, New England shut them down in the first half before Carolina found its rhythm in the second half of the 32-29 nail-biter.’
    • ‘Field events like this are real nail-biters - similar to watching the recent Canada vs. United States hockey game.’
    • ‘This game was a trial run of the first semi-final next week and it should turn out to be a nail-biter in good football tradition.’
    • ‘The event has always been a nail-biter in the past - this year it is a bit of a foot-stomper, as the older gentlemen show no signs of having come to dance.’
  • 2A person who bites their fingernails.

    ‘a fretful nail-biter’