Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to nerve

enervation (n.)

early 15c., enervacion, "impairment, infringement," from Late Latin enervationem (nominative enervatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin enervare "weaken," literally "cut the sinews of," from ex "out" (see ex-) + nervus "sinew" (see nerve (n.)). Figurative sense is from 1550s.

Advertisement
innervate (v.)
"stimulate through the nerves," 1870, a back-formation from innervation "sending of a stimulus through the nerves" (1828), which is perhaps modeled on French innervation; see in- (2) "in" + nerve (n.) + -ate. Related: Innervated. Earlier in English the same word (but from the other in-) meant "to lose feeling or sensation" (1848), and, as an adjective, "without feeling" (1737). Innervation in psychology is from 1880, translated from German Innervationsgefühl.
nerval (adj.)

"of or pertaining to a nerve or nerves, neural," 1630s, from Late Latin nervalis, from Latin nervus (see nerve (n.)).

nervation (n.)

"arrangement or distribution of nerves," especially in the blades of leaves, 1849; see nerve (n.) + -ation.

nerveless (adj.)

"destitute of strength, weak, characterized by lack of energy," 1735; see nerve (n.) + -less. Related: Nervelessness.

nerve-racking (adj.)

also nerveracking, "causing anxiety or mental stress," 1812, from nerve (n.) + present participle of rack (v.1). Between nerve-racking and nerve-wracking (1867) this is probably the better choice as a figure of speech, but the sense of wrack (v.), though less suitable in the image, is not obviously wrong.

nerve-wracking (adj.)

also nervewracking, 1867, from nerve (n.) + present participle of wrack (v.). See nerve-racking.

nervose (adj.)

"having nerves," in any sense, 1753, from Latin nervosus "full of sinews or fibers," from nervus "sinew, tendon" (see nerve (n.)).

nervosity (n.)

early 15c., nervosite, "state of being full of nerves," from Medieval Latin nervositas, from Latin nervus (see nerve (n.)).

nervous (adj.)

late 14c., "containing nerves; affecting the sinews" (the latter sense now obsolete); from Latin nervosus "sinewy, vigorous," from nervus "sinew, nerve" (see nerve (n.)). The meaning "of or belonging to the nerves" in the modern anatomical sense is from 1660s.

From 1630s it was used (of writing style, etc.) in the sense of "possessing or manifesting vigor of mind, characterized by force or strength." But the opposite meaning "suffering disorder of the nervous system" is from 1734, hence the illogical sense "restless, agitated, lacking nerve, weak, timid, easily agitated" (1740). This and its widespread popular use as a euphemism for mental forced the medical community to coin neurological to replace nervous in the older sense "pertaining to the nerves." Nervous wreck first attested 1862; nervous breakdown 1866. Related: Nervously; nervousness.