Learner's definition of NERVE
1 [count] : one of the many thin parts that control movement and feeling by carrying messages between the brain and other parts of the body 2 [noncount] : courage that allows you to do something that is dangerous, difficult, or frightening
It takes a lot of nerve to start a new career.
He found/summoned the nerve to stand up to his boss.
I was going to ask her to the dance, but I lost my nerve.
3 [singular, noncount] : the rude attitude of someone who says or does things that make other people angry or upset
You have a lot of nerve to talk to me that way.
I can't believe she had the nerve to call me a liar.
“After making the mess, he didn't even offer to help clean it up.” “What (a) nerve!”
4 nerves [plural] : feelings of being worried or nervous
The groom was overcome by nerves before his wedding.
The singer still suffers from nerves before a performance.
Her nerves were on edge [=she was nervous] before her exam.
I need a drink to steady/calm my nerves. [=relax]
a bag/bundle of nervesinformal
: an extremely nervous person
get on someone's nerves
: to become extremely annoying to someone
hit/strike/touch a nerve
: to make someone feel angry, upset, embarrassed, etc.
nerves of steel
: an impressive ability to remain calm in dangerous or difficult situations
war of nerves
: a situation in which people do or say things to make other people feel afraid or nervous about what will happen