Synonyms of nerve in English:


See definition of nerve


1‘the nerves that transmit pain and physical feeling’


nerve fibre

technical axon

2‘the match will be a test of nerve, strength, and skill’


self-confidence, confidence, assurance, self-assurance, coolness, cool-headedness, self-possession

courage, bravery, pluck, pluckiness, boldness, courageousness, braveness, intrepidity, intrepidness, fearlessness, valour, daring, dauntlessness, doughtiness, gameness

determination, strength of character, firmness of purpose, will power, spirit, backbone, fortitude, mettle, heart, endurance, tenacity, resolution, resoluteness, stout-heartedness, steadfastness, staunchness, hardihood

informal grit, guts, spunk, gumption, gutsiness

British informal bottle, ballsiness

North American informal moxie, cojones, sand

vulgar slang balls


timidity, faint-heartedness

3‘he had the nerve to try and pick up the casting director at his first audition’


audacity, cheek, barefaced cheek, effrontery, gall, temerity, presumption, presumptuousness, boldness, brazenness, impudence, impertinence, insolence, pertness, forwardness, front, arrogance, cockiness

informal face, neck, brass neck, brass, sauce

North American informal chutzpah

informal, dated hide

British informal, dated crust

rare procacity, assumption


shyness, bashfulness, politeness

4‘an attack of pre-wedding nerves’


anxiety, tension, nervousness, nervous tension, strain, tenseness, stress, worry, cold feet

apprehensiveness, apprehension, jumpiness, fright

informal collywobbles, the jitters, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, the shakes, the jumps, jim-jams, the yips

British informal the, the screaming abdabs, the screaming habdabs

Australian rhyming slang Joe Blakes


calmness, nonchalance



    get on someone's nerves


      irritate, annoy, irk, anger, bother, vex, provoke, displease, upset, exasperate, infuriate, gall, get someone's back up, put someone's back up, put out, pique, rankle with, nettle, needle, ruffle someone's feathers, stroke someone's hair the wrong way, make someone's hackles rise, try someone's patience

      jar on, grate on


      rub up the wrong way


      aggravate, get, get to, bug, miff, peeve, rile, get under someone's skin, get in someone's hair, get up someone's nose, hack off, get someone's goat

      British informal

      nark, get on someone's wick, give someone the hump, wind up, get across

      North American informal

      rankle, ride, gravel

      vulgar slang

      piss off

      British vulgar slang

      get on someone's tits


      exacerbate, hump, rasp

    nerve oneself

      ‘Morag nerved herself to go on’


      brace oneself, steel oneself, gather muster one's courage, gather up one's courage, screw muster one's courage, screw up one's courage, summon muster one's courage, summon up one's courage, screw one's courage to the sticking place, gear oneself up, prepare oneself, get in the right frame of mind

      fortify oneself, bolster oneself


      psych oneself up


      gird one's loins, gird up one's loins


      lose one's nerve