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What adjective or expression can describe the state of a person after a very wearing wait? Like the wait for the results of an important examination,of a decisive political election or of critical medical analysis?

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  • I think we might need a little more detail. In what sense? What type of person? For instance, "anxious" and "calm" might both apply. Two different people might be in these two disparate states after a wearying wait.
    – user50519
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 18:56
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    It could depend whether the result is to one's liking or not.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 18:56
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    I am thinking about the wait before results are known.
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 18:58
  • @Emrakul - I am not thinking about a specific type of person, a wearing wait can affect everybody even if to different degrees!!
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 19:03
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    You say "after a very wearing wait." That seems to imply the wait is over, and the results are now known. But your question title seems to imply this weary person is still not sure of the end result. Can you clarify?
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 19:23

5 Answers 5

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Wouldn't weary apply?

weary: adj., feeling or showing tiredness, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep

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  • "Weary" is a great suggestion, but it's possible to go further: "Wait-Weary Fans Flock To Oregon Ducks for Title Hopes" ... "Wait-weary royal watchers soldier on as new clues point to imminent birth" Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 19:24
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Someone may be on tenterhooks or distraught while awaiting an important report.

The first few synonyms given for bundle of nerves (as in distressed) may be useful as well.

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Nerve-wracking would be an apt way to describe the waiting experience. To describe how a nerve-wracking wait leaves a person feeling, perhaps overwrought or wrung out would do.

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The problem here is that we don't know what kind of psychological factors might be influencing the anticipatory state our subject finds themselves in. The situations you describe would engender apprehension and anxiety in some people, but election results might give rise to positive excitement in others. I would choose a word that you understand to describe the emotional state (x) that you want to attribute to the waiting and then say: "...feeling x after such a wearing wait.

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I agree that weary is a good word. Also anxious or anxiously: "He was anxious to get the results of his exam."

Some other suggestions

nervous

antsy

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  • You could add angst, too. Macmillan says: "a strong feeling of worry about .. what will happen in the future."
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 20:39

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