nerve1 W3S3 [nə:v US nə:rv] n
1¦(worried feelings)¦
2¦(body part)¦
4 get on somebody's nerves
5¦(lack of respect)¦
6 touch/hit a (raw) nerve
7 nerves of steel
[Date: 1300-1400; : Latin; Origin: nervus]
nerves [plural]
a) used to talk about someone being worried or frightened
sb's nerves are on edge/in tatters/frayed
(=someone feels very worried or frightened)
calm/steady your nerves
(=stop yourself feeling worried or frightened)
Sean drank a large glass of brandy to calm his nerves.
be a bundle/bag of nerves
(=be extremely worried or frightened)
I remember you were a bundle of nerves on your wedding day.
b) the feeling of being worried or a little frightened
A lot of people suffer from nerves before they go on stage.
'What's wrong with Rachel?' 'It's just nerves. She's got her driving test tomorrow.'
exam/first-night etc nerves
2.) ¦(BODY PART)¦
nerves are parts inside your body which look like threads and carry messages between the brain and other parts of the body
a condition which affects the nerves in the back
trapped nerve
BrE /pinched nerve
AmE (=a nerve that has been crushed between two muscles etc, causing a lot of pain)
3.) ¦(COURAGE)¦[U]
courage and confidence in a dangerous, difficult, or frightening situation
the nerve to do sth
Not many people have the nerve to stand up and speak in front of a large audience.
She finally found the nerve to tell him she wanted a divorce.
It takes a lot of nerve to report a colleague for sexual harassment.
lose your nerve
(=suddenly become very nervous so that you cannot do what you intended to do)
Jensen would've won if he hadn't lost his nerve.
hold/keep your nerve
(=remain calm in a difficult situation)
It's hard to keep your nerve when people keep interrupting you.
4.) get on sb's nerves informal
if someone gets on your nerves, they annoy you, especially by doing something all the time
She's always moaning. It really gets on my nerves.
5.) ¦(LACK OF RESPECT)¦ [singular]
spoken if you say someone has a nerve, you mean that they have done something unsuitable or impolite, without seeming to be embarrassed about behaving in this way
= ↑cheek
He's got a nerve asking for more money.
'She didn't say sorry or anything.' ' What a nerve !'
have the nerve to do sth
She lets me do all the work, and then she has the nerve to criticize my cooking.
6.) touch/hit a (raw) nerve
to mention something that makes someone upset, angry, or embarrassed, especially accidentally
Without realizing, he had touched a raw nerve.
7.) nerves of steel
the ability to be brave and calm in a dangerous or difficult situation
The job requires nerves of steel.
strain every nerve atstrain2 (6)
nerve 2
nerve2 v
nerve yourself to do sth/for sth
to force yourself to be brave enough to do something difficult or dangerous
The parachutist nerved himself for the jump.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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