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.
(Science: 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.