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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

nervy

adjective
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Harriet's Aunt Gertrude, a nervy spinster who lived with Uncle Bertie's household, sat as still as possible.
▪ He understands the manic rhythms of a city that borders on the irrational, yet still embodies a nervy humanity.
▪ He was nervy and on edge.
▪ His companion was thin and nervy and carried a notebook.
▪ Macy brilliantly shows Teach to be a nervy outsider who desperately wants to be part of the game.
▪ The film itself is preceded by an elaborately ironic but nervy disclaimer about it being just a joke.
WordNet

nervy

  1. adj. being in a tense state [syn: edgy, high-strung, highly strung, in suspense(p), jittery, jumpy, overstrung, restive, uptight]

  2. showing or requiring courage and contempt of danger; "the nervy feats of mountaineers"

  3. offensively bold; "a brash newcomer disputed the age-old rules for admission to the club"; "a nervy thing to say" [syn: brash, cheeky]

  4. [also: nerviest, nervier]

The Collaborative International Dictionary

nervy

nervy \nerv"y\ (n[~e]rv"[y^]), a. [Compar. nervier (n[~e]rv"[i^]*[~e]r); superl. nerviest.]

  1. Strong; sinewy. ``His nervy knees.''
    --Keats.

  2. Offensively bold or presumptuous; insolent; cheeky; pushy.

  3. Exhibiting courage or daring; bold; plucky.

  4. Nervous[6]; apprehensive; edgy[1].

Wiktionary

nervy

a. 1 (context US English) Having nerve; bold; brazen. 2 (context British English) Feeling nervous, anxious or agitated.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

nervy

"full of courage," 1870, from nerve + -y (2). Sense of "excitable" is from 1891.

Usage examples of "nervy".

One of the listeners made a remark about Khiva son of Zambul that sent the others off into nervy laughter.

I heard last night that Yava Aud is as nervy as a hawk on hot sand about something.

And before that they never came any nervier, any better than Jimmy Creech.

Duster Brooks, nerviest of the evil crew, had hoped to get The Shadow this time.

Graham was one of the nerviest men who ever carried the government authority into the realm of organized crime.

The nerviest thing he had ever done was to put it up as his stake in a bet with his friend Dug.

That's without a doubt the most dangerous of all, what with angry dockers, heathen lads with a bit too much alcohol and cannabis and adrenaline in their blood, and the nervy new PA militia in the mix.

I'm only a one in the cerebrotonic aspect, which doesn't mean I'm dumb, thank God, but I've never been what you'd call nervy or sensitive.

We all grew nervy as narks—Maud would sit fidgeting for hours at a trot, and when the house clock sounded she would give a little start, that would make me start.

Funding therefore came mainly from more nervy, higher-risk, higher-gain sources found in niches through the off-Earth economy, and the hope was to make some significant breakthrough that could be sold to one of the major interplanetary commercial concerns before it ran out.

The Fiscal's office would have precognosced Miss Proffit, and would have made a note for future reference that she was timid, nervy, and unlikely to perform well in court.

His nervy talent redefined the boundaries of comedy in the '80s and won him a list of admirers that includes John Cleese, George Carlin, and Thorn Yorke of Radiohead.

But she knew it was privacy treated to prevent anyone nervy enough to try a flyby from seeing in.

A couple of nervy yeggs had cracked a box in a branch post office in a nearby suburb—and had got away with some stamps.

A nervy group of Yippies in the Midwest tried to swipe a giant IBM 360 computer while a school was in turmoil.