1. Possessing nerve; sinewy; strong; vigorous. "Nervous arms."

2. Possessing or manifesting vigor of mind; characterised 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. "Our aristocratic class does not firmly protest against the unfair treatment of Irish Catholics, because it is nervous about the land." (M.

<anatomy> Arnold) Nervous fever, 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. In Appendix. Nervous temperament, a condition of body characterised by a general predominance of mental manifestations.

Origin: L. Nervosus sinewy, vigorous: cf. F. Nerveux. See Nerve.

(01 Mar 1998)

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