Definition of unnerve in US English:



[with object]
  • Make (someone) lose courage or confidence.

    ‘the journey over the bridge had unnerved me’
    • ‘Christopher awards Meet The Fockers three stars but then unnerves us slightly by calling Dustin Hoffman ‘48 inches of vintage dance-floor groove’.’
    • ‘What we need is not comforting distance structured through familiarity, but rather the strength to look critically and consciously at that which most unnerves us.’
    • ‘The natural assumption is that having a reporter in the room is unnerving her.’
    • ‘The kind of deep down stupid that depresses and unnerves me.’
    • ‘Another thing that just unnerves me is when the head of our department watches me do something, then asks me to do it like three times REALLY SLOW.’
    • ‘But then I do, but the temporary panic has unnerved me, and I worry about where I've put the keys.’
    • ‘Finally, when the time comes for the horse to run, the experience will be so unnerving you'll just pray for it to be over.’
    • ‘Such unauthorized activity unnerves many people, especially those who seek control and regimentation, whether political or cultural.’
    • ‘Nothing unnerves me so much as Jude Bailey's uncanny ability to deliver stories ranging from oil-barons-laying-waste-to-Alaska to kittens-up-trees without so much as blinking.’
    • ‘Since I had that memory card fail halfway around Paris the thought of anybody relying on me for photographs unnerves me, so I've made sure they know I can't promise anything.’
    • ‘But April, with its whimsical showers and surprised days of panting heat, unnerves me and awakens animal desires.’
    • ‘One man said we were as safe as houses but it unnerves you.’
    • ‘Healthcare professionals should not withhold information out of concern that it will upset or unnerve a patient.’
    • ‘But the reasonings don't seem based in that pesky Constitution itself, and the very idea of using foreign law as some sort of guide for American law unnerves me as much as it angers me.’
    • ‘I was so used to seeing his face all friendly and full of humor, but now, his intense gaze unnerved me.’
    • ‘It unnerved me to hear that I had lost that much track of time and felt nothing from it.’
    • ‘Its tone is one of parlour room titillation blended with out and out Lynchian weirdness - a fantastically inventive and darkly funny film that unsettles and unnerves the audience.’
    • ‘After the grace and concern of the Arabs, this jolt of American culture unnerved me.’
    • ‘This is one of those things that unnerves me about all of our new police forces and homeland security services and domestic intelligence agencies.’
    • ‘Her wide eyed frozen gaze unnerved him, her chilly green eyes that held no sign of life in them.’
    demoralize, discourage, dishearten, dispirit, deject, daunt, cow, alarm, frighten, unman, dismay, distress, disconcert, discompose, perturb, upset, discomfit, take aback, unsettle, disquiet, jolt, startle, fluster, agitate, shake, ruffle, throw, throw off balance, put someone off their stroke, cause someone to lose their composure, confound, panic, stupefy, stun
    View synonyms