1 noun
1 FEELINGS nerves (plural) the feeling of being nervous because you are worried or a little frightened: “What's wrong?” “It's just nerves. He's got his exams tomorrow.” | be a bundle/bag of nerves informal (=be extremely worrid or frightened): I remember you were a bundle of nerves on your wedding day. | calm/steady your nerves (=stop yourself feeling worried or frightened): Sean drank a large glass of brandy to calm his nerves. | live on your nerves (=be always worried): He's the type of person who lives on his nerves.
2 get on sb's nerves informal to annoy someone, especially by repeatedly doing something: She's always moaning. It really gets on my nerves.
3 COURAGE (U) the ability to stay calm and confident in a dangerous, difficult or frightening situation: have the nerve to do sth: Not many people have the nerve to stand up and speak in front of a large audience. | it takes a lot of nerve to do sth spoken: It takes a lot of nerve to report a colleague for sexual harassment. | lose your nerve: He'd have won if he hadn't lost his nerve.
4 have a nerve spoken to be surprisingly rude without seeming ashamed or embarrassed: He's got a nerve asking for more money. | have the nerve to do sth: She lets me do all the work, and then she has the nerve to criticise my cooking. | what a nerve!: What a bloody nerve! Telling me how to do something I've been doing for years!
5 BODY PART (C) one of the thin parts like threads inside your body, along which feelings and messages are sent to the brain: The dentist was drilling and he hit a nerve. The pain was incredible!
6 hit/touch a raw nerve to say something that someone else is very sensitive about especially accidentally
—see also: touch a raw nerve raw 1 (6), strain every nerve strain 1 (7) 2 verb nerve yourself to force yourself to be brave enough to do something difficult or dangerous (+ for): The parachutist nerved himself for the jump.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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