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Nerve Wracking vs. Nerve Racking

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1:41 min read
  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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With today’s hectic schedules, everyone in their life experience at least one stressful situation every day. Anything which causes a feeling of stress or anxiety to an individual is referred to nerve-racking. However, there is another similar word in the English vocabulary known as nerve- wracking.

With the help of this article, I will illustrate the difference between the two words, highlighting their contextual meaning and spellings.

At end, I would explain a useful trick to help you utilize the both words accurately in your writing instantly.

Rack as verb:

Rack is used as verb and noun in English language but in our scenario, rack’s meaning as a verb is considered which means to cause extreme pain, anguish, or distress to.

He was racked with guilt.

Nerve Racking as adjective:

The phrase nerve racking is used as an adjective which means causing stress or anxiety.

His driving test was a nerve-racking ordeal.

Usually nerve-racking is given preference in both American and British English.


The process of electing the new mayor was nerve racking with all the candidates being a suitable choice.

The world cup’s final match a nerve-racking experience for the players of both teams.

The job interview was one of the most nerve racking moments for me.

It was nerve-racking to watch my ill mother try to get up from her bed slowly, the crunch of her weak bones echoing in the silent bedroom.

Use of nerve wracking:

Nerve-wracking is just different spellings but same meaning as nerve racking. It is rarely used in today’s English but some classics still prefer it over nerve-racking in their writing.


When the old sunken ship was brought ashore, it was filled with wracks and kelps from the seabed.

Nerve racking or nerve wracking:

Nerve-racking and nerve-wracking are alternate spellings of the same adjective, referring to something stressful or anxiety-inducing. Nerve-racking is the common word preferred to describe stressful situations while wrack means damage and destruction and unless you are talking about damage, nerve-racking is to be used.

Nerve Wracking vs. Nerve Racking

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