nail biter


Also found in: Medical, Idioms.

nail biter

also nail·bit·er (nāl′bī′tər)
n.
1. One who bites one's fingernails as a nervous habit.
2. A situation marked by tense nervousness or apprehension, especially an athletic contest whose outcome is uncertain near its finish.

nail biting n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
England has won the World Cup for the first time by defeating New Zealand in a nail biter competition.
"Last night was a nail biter, as we were down six points with 24 seconds left to play," said Head Coach Steven Kenner regarding sectionals.
The 2nd Semi Final between Farhan Mehboob and Danish Atlas Khan was a nail biter. However, Farhan Mehboob won the match with a game score of 12/10, 11/9, 9/11, 3/11, 11/3.
"The complications of time deadlines, personal commitments, summer vacations and a very difficult credit environment made this deal a nail biter to the very end," said Massey Knakal broker Robert Burton, who exclusively represented the seller.
I have no idea why I am a nail biter but despite trying hard I cannot break the habit.
Dear Editor, As a Hampshire supporter I would like to congratulate Darren Maddy and the whole Warwickshire team for making, what could have been a dead game, into a nail biter which had everyone on the edge of their seats until the last over.
The respective marksmen in Dysett Rangers' 1-1 nail biter with Woodlands were Kevin West and Paul Davies.