1. <anatomy> One of the whitish and elastic bundles of fibres, with the accompanying tissues, which transmit nervous impulses between nerve centers and various parts of the animal body.

An ordinary nerve is made up of several bundles of nerve fibres, each bundle inclosed in a special sheath (the perineurium) and all bound together in a connective tissue sheath and framework (the epineurium) containing blood vessels and lymphatics.

2. A sinew or a tendon.

3. Physical force or steadiness; muscular power and control; constitutional vigor. "he led me on to mightiest deeds, Above the nerve of mortal arm." (Milton)

4. Steadiness and firmness of mind; self-command in personal danger, or under suffering; unshaken courage and endurance; coolness; pluck; resolution.

5. Audacity; assurance.

6. <botany> One of the principal fibrovascular bundles or ribs of a leaf, especially when these extend straight from the base or the midrib of the leaf.

7. <zoology> One of the nervures, or veins, in the wings of insects.

<anatomy> Nerve cell, the operation of stretching a nerve in order to remedy diseases such as tetanus, which are supposed to be influenced by the condition of the nerve or its connections.

Origin: OE. Nerfe, F. Nerf, L. Nervus, akin to Gr. Sinew, nerve; cf. String, bowstring; perh. Akin to E. Needle. Cf. Neuralgia.

(01 Mar 1998)

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