a nail-biter

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a nail-biter

1. Literally, someone who bites their fingernails, especially due to nervousness or agitation. I was a nail-biter at a young age, and, try as I might, I've never managed to shake the habit completely.
2. By extension, a situation, especially a competitive one, whose outcome is particularly close or uncertain and marked by nervous apprehension. Did you catch the football match last Sunday? Man, what a nail-biter! With how close these two candidates are, this election is sure to be a real nail-biter in its final moments.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's a nail biter," a weary fellow at the Democratic National Committee bash at the Mayflower Hotel told me.
1 NIBBLING YOUR NAILS According to reformed nail biter and nail salon owner, Deri Benitar, long-term nail biting can affect the way your nails grow, making them weak and more liable to break.
Syracuse's nail biter is done, allowing CBS, already a half- hour over its allotted time, to take its required afternoon break.
If you're a nail biter then you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
Photo: (1 -- color) USC's Jeff Trepagnier shoots over Oregon's Alex Scales in Thursday's game, but the Trojans lost a nail biter.
Containing two extra minutes of footage, this 1951 nail biter about a one-sided plan to swap murders was co-scripted by Raymond Chandler and based on a Patricia Highsmith novel.
The win over Royal - a 10-8 nail biter - came down to Agoura's outstanding doubles teams.
Around 66 percent of nail biters reported feeling tension before biting their nails while, by 42 percent took pleasure from the act of nail biting.