Definition of nervy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnəːvi/

adjective (nervier, nerviest)

1British Easily agitated or alarmed; nervous: he was nervy and on edge
More example sentences
  • The nervous and nervy man couldn't believe that life was treating him so badly.
  • I have gone from being very pressurised and tense and nervy to being more relaxed and far happier with how things are.
  • 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.
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;
excitable, neurotic, highly strung
informal in a state, uptight, wired, in a stew, all of a dither, in a sweat, in a flap, in a tizz/tizzy, all of a lather, het up, in a twitter
North American informal spooky, squirrelly, in a twit
Australian/New Zealand informal toey
British vulgar slang shitting bricks, bricking oneself
dated overstrung
1.1Characterized or produced by apprehension or uncertainty: they made a nervy start
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
2North American informal Bold or impudent: it was kind of nervy for Billy to be telling him how to play
More example sentences
  • Audiard has done a masterful job of creating a brash, nervy film that is poignant without ever being pretentious.
  • 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.
  • The United Nations chief is charming and charismatic, but his nervy doctrine for ending wars makes world leaders twitch.
3 literary Vigorous or strong.



Pronunciation: /ˈnəːvɪli/
Example sentences
  • Fragmented and episodic, it starts arrestingly with ghostly shushing sounds and moving searchlights picking out a lone dancer in black tittuping nervily on the balls of her feet.
  • Although the wagtail ‘shows no shrinking’, Britten makes him chirrup a shade nervily, though the rocking bass counters the faint fright with a reiterated triad of innocent A major.
  • As noises thicken in her sound-world and chords stir nervily in ours, she hesitates; the camera comes in closer and a strange cry curdles the air; Jess stops, bites her lip and looks around.


Pronunciation: /ˈnəːvɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • Robinson competently conveys nerviness, anger and frustration, but the ultimate despair his character must feel doesn't quite register.
  • There's a genteel nerviness about this big, bendy-nosed bloke in the Norwich City football shirt, slacks and comfy brown brogues.
  • There is no doubt that we Celtic fans remain twitchy about our team - and, in all honesty, that edginess and nerviness will take some budging.

Words that rhyme with nervy

curvy, Nervi, scurvy, topsy-turvy

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nervy

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