What does nerve mean?

Definitions for nerve

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word nerve.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nerve, nervus(noun)

    any bundle of nerve fibers running to various organs and tissues of the body

  2. heart, mettle, nerve, spunk(noun)

    the courage to carry on

    "he kept fighting on pure spunk"; "you haven't got the heart for baseball"

  3. boldness, nerve, brass, face, cheek(verb)

    impudent aggressiveness

    "I couldn't believe her boldness"; "he had the effrontery to question my honesty"

  4. steel, nerve(verb)

    get ready for something difficult or unpleasant


  1. nerve(Noun)

    A bundle of neurons with their connective tissue sheaths, blood vessels and lymphatics.

    The nerves can be seen through the skin.

  2. nerve(Noun)

    A neuron.

  3. nerve(Noun)

    A vein in a leaf; a grain in wood

    Some plants have ornamental value because of their contrasting nerves

  4. nerve(Noun)

    Courage, boldness.

    He hasn't the nerve to tell her he likes her, what a wimp!

  5. nerve(Noun)


  6. nerve(Noun)

    Stamina, endurance, fortitude.

  7. nerve(Noun)

    Audacity, gall.

    He had the nerve to enter my house uninvited.

  8. nerve(Noun)

    Agitation caused by fear, stress or other negative emotion.

    Ellie had a bad case of nerves before the big test.

  9. nerve(Verb)

    To give courage; sometimes with "up".

    May their example nerve us to face the enemy.

  10. nerve(Verb)

    To give strength

    The liquor nerved up several of the men after their icy march.

  11. Origin: Recorded since circa 1374, from nervus, from nervus.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Nerve(noun)

    one of the whitish and elastic bundles of fibers, with the accompanying tissues, which transmit nervous impulses between nerve centers and various parts of the animal body

  2. Nerve(noun)

    a sinew or a tendon

  3. Nerve(noun)

    physical force or steadiness; muscular power and control; constitutional vigor

  4. Nerve(noun)

    steadiness and firmness of mind; self-command in personal danger, or under suffering; unshaken courage and endurance; coolness; pluck; resolution

  5. Nerve(noun)

    audacity; assurance

  6. Nerve(noun)

    one of the principal fibrovascular bundles or ribs of a leaf, especially when these extend straight from the base or the midrib of the leaf

  7. Nerve(noun)

    one of the nervures, or veins, in the wings of insects

  8. Nerve(verb)

    to give strength or vigor to; to supply with force; as, fear nerved his arm

  9. Origin: [OE. nerfe, F. nerf, L. nervus, akin to Gr. ney^ron sinew, nerve; cf. neyra` string, bowstring; perh. akin to E. needle. Cf. Neuralgia.]


  1. Nerve

    A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of axons in the peripheral nervous system. A nerve provides a common pathway for the electrochemical nerve impulses that are transmitted along each of the axons to peripheral organs. In the central nervous system, the analogous structures are known as tracts. Neurons are sometimes called nerve cells, though this term is potentially misleading since many neurons do not form nerves, and nerves also include non-neuronal Schwann cells that coat the axons in myelin. Each nerve is a cordlike structure that contains many axons. These axons are often referred to as "fibres". Within a nerve, each axon is surrounded by a layer of connective tissue called the endoneurium. The axons are bundled together into groups called fascicles, and each fascicle is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the perineurium. Finally, the entire nerve is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the epineurium.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Nerve

    nėrv, n. bodily strength, firmness, courage: (anat.) one of the fibres which convey sensation from all parts of the body to the brain: (bot.) one of the fibres or ribs in the leaves of plants: a trade term for a non-porous quality of cork, slightly charred: (pl.) hysterical nervousness.—v.t. to give strength or vigour to: to arm with force.—adj. Nerv′al.—ns. Nervā′tion, the arrangement or distribution of nerves, esp. those of leaves; Nerve′-cell, any cell forming part of the nervous system, esp. one of those by means of which nerve-fibres are connected with each other; Nerve′-cen′tre, a collection of nerve-cells from which nerves branch out.—adj. Nerved, furnished with nerves, or with nerves of a special character, as 'strong-nerved.'—n. Nerve′-fī′bre, one of the essential thread-like units of which a nerve is composed.—adj. Nerve′less, without strength.—n. Nerve′lessness.—adj. Nerv′ine, acting on the nerves: quieting nervous excitement.—n. a medicine that soothes nervous excitement.—adjs. Nerv′ous, having nerve: sinewy: strong, vigorous, showing strength and vigour: pertaining to the nerves: having the nerves easily excited or weak; Nerv′ous, Nervose′, Nerved (bot.) having parallel fibres or veins.—adv. Nerv′ously.—n. Nerv′ousness.—adj. Nerv′ūlar.—ns. Nerv′ūle, a small nerve, a small vein of an insect's wing—also Nervulet, Veinlet, Venule; Nerv′ure, one of the nerves or veins of leaves: one of the horny tubes or divisions which expand the wings of insects: one of the ribs in a groined vault: a projecting moulding.—adj. Nerv′y, strong, vigorous.—Nervous system (anat.), the brain, spinal cord, and nerves collectively: the whole of the nerves and nerve-centres of the body considered as related to each other, and fitted to act together. [Fr.,—L. nervus; Gr. neuron, a sinew.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. NERVE

    Breaking the hair-brush on the disobedient scion, then making him pay for a new one. See revised version, "Spare the rod and spoil the hair-brush!"

Editors Contribution

  1. nerve

    A structure of cells within the human body.

    The nerves in the human body play a vital role in the nervous system such as transmitting information and signals.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 24, 2019  

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'nerve' in Nouns Frequency: #1559

How to pronounce nerve?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say nerve in sign language?

  1. nerve


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of nerve in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of nerve in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of nerve in a Sentence

  1. Charlie Rose:

    Clearly it struck a nerve.

  2. Cicero:

    Strain every nerve to gain your point.

  3. Leo Varadkar:

    Whatever happens, we are going to hold our nerve.

  4. Michael Makovsky:

    Trump has given the impression he lost his nerve.

  5. State Rep. Mike Johnson:

    It’s really hit a nerve, people have had enough.

Images & Illustrations of nerve

  1. nervenervenervenervenerve

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for nerve

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for nerve »


Find a translation for the nerve definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss these nerve definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"nerve." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 20 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/nerve>.

Are we missing a good definition for nerve? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for nerve:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.