bite (one's) nails

(redirected from biting his nails)

bite (one's) nails

1. Literally, to chew on one's fingernails and shorten them. I wish I didn't bite my nails, but it's been such a hard habit to try to break. My sister gets regular manicures to keep from biting her nails.
2. To nervously await something. I've been biting my nails ever since I submitted my application for my first-choice college.
See also: bite, nail

bite one's nails

 
1. to use one's teeth to remove parts of one's fingernails as a means of shortening them. Stop biting your nails! Use clippers!
2. to literally bite one's nails from nervousness or anxiety; to be nervous or anxious. I spent all afternoon biting my nails, worrying about you. We've all been biting our nails from worry.
See also: bite, nail

bite one's nails

Exhibit signs of anxiety, impatience, or nervousness, as in We'll be biting our nails till the jury comes back. Biting one's fingernails is a time-honored sign of emotional tension. The Roman satirist Horace described it about 35 b.c.: "As he wrought his verse he would often ... gnaw his nails to the quick" ( Satires, Book 1).
See also: bite, nail

bite your ˈnails/ˈfingernails

feel very excited, nervous, or afraid ▶ ˈnail-biting adj. very exciting or tense: What an exciting movie that was — real nail-biting stuff!
See also: bite, fingernail, nail
References in classic literature ?
This reflection set him scratching his head and biting his nails once more.
I instantly ran into the room, and found Magdalen on the sofa in violent hysterics, and Frank standing staring at her, with a lowering, angry face, biting his nails.
He sat doggedly in the chair, biting his nails and considering.
On the bridge of the steamer, in the midst of the crowd, he bustled to and fro, never still for a moment, "dragging his anchors," as the sailors say, gesticulating, making free with everybody, biting his nails with nervous avidity.
And that's ours,' he rejoined, moving uneasily in his seat, and biting his nails as though he would pare them to the quick.
A man who has been three years biting his nails on a desert island, Jim, can't expect to appear as sane as you or me.
I am myself weak in the eyes, and have often taken one thing for another,' quoth the knight, as he sprang back into his saddle and rode off, leaving the Sieur de Crespigny biting his nails before the door.
he added with annoyance, and biting his nails, fell into dreamy silence again.
She is lying," he thought to himself, biting his nails vindictively.
Sire, I listen," said De Blacas, biting his nails with impatience.
Sometimes I would meet him in the neighbourhood lounging about and biting his nails.
True, true,' said Bray, biting his nails, and plainly very ill at ease.
LIFELONG diabetic John Gardener died because he couldn't stop biting his nails.
A MAN died from a heart attack caused by an infection he got from biting his nails.
While Wayne's busy biting his nails ahead of the last deciding game of the season on Sunday, Insider caught up with Coleen and her friends in Blush cocktail bar on Beetham Plaza.