Other forms: nerves; nerved; nerving

A nerve is a group of fibers that send sensation or physical feeling to the brain. Back pain can sometimes be caused by a damaged or pinched nerve.

Your body depends on your nerves for sensing pain, heat, and cold — not to mention making it possible for you to move your muscles. You can also use the word nerve to mean bravery or daring: "She didn't know if she'd have the nerve to skydive when she was finally up in the plane." In the 1500s, to nerve was "to ornament with threads." All of these come from a Latin root, nervus, "sinew, tendon, cord, or bowstring."

Definitions of nerve
  1. noun
    any bundle of nerve fibers running to various organs and tissues of the body
    synonyms: nervus
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    efferent, efferent nerve, motor nerve
    a nerve that conveys impulses toward or to muscles or glands
    afferent, afferent nerve, sensory nerve
    a nerve that passes impulses from receptors toward or to the central nervous system
    cranial nerve
    any of the 12 paired nerves that originate in the brain stem
    depressor, depressor nerve
    any nerve whose activity tends to reduce the activity or tone of the body part it serves
    musculospiral nerve, nervus radialis, radial nerve
    largest branch of the brachial plexus; extends down the humerus to the lateral epicondyle where it divides into one branch that goes to the skin on the back of the hand and another that goes to the underlying extensor muscles
    splanchnic nerve
    any of several nerves of the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system that innervate viscera and blood vessels
    nervus ischiadicus, sciatic nerve
    arises from the sacral plexus and passes about halfway down the thigh where it divides into the common peroneal and tibial nerves
    nervus saphenus, saphenous nerve
    a branch of the femoral nerve that supplies cutaneous branches to the inner aspect of the leg and foot
    cubital nerve, nervus ulnaris, ulnar nerve
    a nerve running along the inner side of the arm and passing near the elbow; supplies intrinsic muscles of the hand and the skin of the medial side of the hand
    nervus spinalis, spinal nerve
    any of the 31 pairs of nerves emerging from each side of the spinal cord (each attached to the cord by two roots: ventral and dorsal)
    dorsal horn, dorsal root
    one of the two roots of a spinal nerve that passes dorsally to the spinal cord and that consists of sensory fibers
    anterior horn, anterior root, ventral horn, ventral root
    one of two the two roots of a spinal nerve that passes ventrally from the spinal cord and that consists of motor fibers
    fillet, lemniscus
    a bundle of sensory nerve fibers going to the thalamus
    first cranial nerve, nervii olfactorii, olfactory nerve
    a collective term for numerous olfactory filaments in the nasal mucosa
    nervus opticus, optic nerve, optic tract, second cranial nerve
    the cranial nerve that serves the retina
    nervus oculomotorius, oculomotor, oculomotor nerve, third cranial nerve
    supplies extrinsic muscles of the eye
    fourth cranial nerve, trochlear, trochlear nerve, trochlearis
    either of the two cranial nerves on either side that control the superior oblique muscles of the eyes
    fifth cranial nerve, nervus trigeminus, trigeminal, trigeminal nerve, trigeminus
    the main sensory nerve of the face and motor nerve for the muscles of mastication
    abducens, abducens nerve, abducent, abducent nerve, nervus abducens, sixth cranial nerve
    a small motor nerve supplying the lateral rectus muscle of the eye
    facial, facial nerve, nervus facialis, seventh cranial nerve
    cranial nerve that supplies facial muscles
    acoustic nerve, auditory nerve, eighth cranial nerve, nervus vestibulocochlearis, vestibulocochlear nerve
    a composite sensory nerve supplying the hair cells of the vestibular organ and the hair cells of the cochlea
    glossopharyngeal nerve, nervus glossopharyngeus, ninth cranial nerve
    sensory nerve to the pharynx and back of the tongue; motor fibers innervate muscles that elevate the pharynx and larynx; includes parasympathetic fibers to the otic ganglion
    nervus vagus, pneumogastric, pneumogastric nerve, tenth cranial nerve, vagus, vagus nerve, wandering nerve
    a mixed nerve that supplies the pharynx and larynx and lungs and heart and esophagus and stomach and most of the abdominal viscera
    accessory nerve, eleventh cranial nerve, nervus accessorius, spinal accessory
    arises from two sets of roots (cranial and spinal) that unite to form the nerve
    hypoglossal, hypoglossal nerve, nervus hypoglosus, twelfth cranial nerve
    supplies intrinsic muscles of the tongue and other tongue muscles
    corticospinal tract, pyramidal motor system, pyramidal tract
    any of the important motor nerves on each side of the central nervous system that run from the sensorimotor areas of the cortex through the brainstem to motor neurons of the cranial nerve nuclei and the ventral root of the spinal cord
    anterior crural nerve, femoral nerve, nervus femoralis
    one of a pair of nerves that originate from lumbar nerves and supply the muscles and skin of the anterior part of the thigh
    nervus phrenicus, phrenic nerve
    one of a pair of nerves that arises from cervical spinal roots and passes down the thorax to innervate the diaphragm and control breathing
    cervical nerve
    any of eight pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the cervical section of the spinal cord
    coccygeal nerve, nervus coccygeus
    the lowest pair of spinal nerves
    lumbar nerve
    any of five pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the lumbar section of the spinal cord
    sacral nerve
    any of five pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the sacral region of the spinal cord
    thoracic nerve
    any of twelve pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the thoracic region of the spinal cord
    crazy bone, funny bone
    a point on the elbow where the ulnar nerve passes near the surface; a sharp tingling sensation results when the nerve is knocked against the bone
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    fascicle, fasciculus, fiber bundle, fibre bundle
    a bundle of fibers (especially nerve fibers)
  2. noun
    the courage to carry on
    synonyms: heart, mettle, spunk
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    braveness, bravery, courage, courageousness
    a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear
  3. noun
    impudent aggressiveness
    synonyms: boldness, brass, cheek, face
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    audaciousness, audacity
    aggressive boldness or unmitigated effrontery
    assumption, effrontery, presumption, presumptuousness
    audacious (even arrogant) behavior that you have no right to
    type of:
    the quality of being bold and enterprising
  4. verb
    get ready for something difficult or unpleasant
    synonyms: steel
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    type of:
    brace, poise
    prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult




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