Nerv"ous (?), a. [L. nervosus sinewy, vigorous: cf. F. nerveux. See Nerve.]

1.

possessing nerve; sinewy; strong; vigorous.

"Nervous arms."

Pope.

2.

Possessing or manifesting vigor of mind; characterized by strength in sentiment or style; forcible; spirited; as, a nervous writer.

3.

Of or pertaining to the nerves; seated in the nerves; as, nervous excitement; a nervous fever.

4.

Having the nerves weak, diseased, or easily excited; subject to, or suffering from, undue excitement of the nerves; easily agitated or annoyed.

Poor, weak, nervous creatures. Cheyne.

5.

Sensitive; excitable; timid.

<-- This corresponds to two senses in MW10: easily excited = jumpy; timid, apprehensive -->

Our aristocratic class does not firmly protest against the unfair treatment of Irish Catholics, because it is nervous about the land. M. Arnold.

Nervous fever Med., a low form of fever characterized by great disturbance of the nervous system, as evinced by delirium, or stupor, disordered sensibility, etc. -- Nervous system Anat., the specialized coordinating apparatus which endows animals with sensation and volition. In vertebrates it is often divided into three systems: the central, brain and spinal cord; the peripheral, cranial and spinal nerves; and the sympathetic. See Brain, Nerve, Spinal cord, under Spinal, and Sympathetic system, under Sympathetic, and Illust. in Appendix. -- Nervous temperament, a condition of body characterized by a general predominance of mental manifestations.

Mayne.

 

© Webster 1913.

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