Meaning: something (such as a game or movie) that causes people to feel nervous because the ending is not known until the final moment
Jan: I’m so excited for the Super Bowl this coming Sunday!!
Steve: I know! The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are both really great teams.
Jan: I think it will be a real nail-biter! We won’t know who wins until the very last minute!
Steve: I’d rather watch a game that is a nail-biter than a lopsided game where one team scores all the points.
Jan: Me, too! Just as long as my team wins!
Selena: Have you seen that new movie, “An Unsolved Crime?”
Jackie: No, but I’ve heard that it is a real nail-biter!
Selena: Yes, it is. I had absolutely no idea who had done the crime until the last second. Then, I was really shocked!
Jackie: Don’t tell me! I still want to see it.
Selena: OK. You’ll love it! The final scene is especially nail-biting.
Meaning: "A nail-biter” is something (like a close game) that causes tension or anxiety. In the first example, two really good teams are playing for the championship in American football. It will be a close game and no one will know who will win until the final moments of the game. This will cause fans of the teams to be nervous or tense. In the second example, the movie is very suspenseful and the ending is unpredictable. In this example, both “nail-biter (noun)” and “nail-biting (adjective)” are used to describe the movie. For more information, please visit: www.languagesystems.com.