adren·​a·​line | \ ə-ˈdre-nə-lən How to pronounce adrenaline (audio) \

Definition of adrenaline

: epinephrine

Note: Adrenaline is used in both technical and nontechnical contexts. It is commonly used in describing the physiological symptoms (such as increased heart rate and respiration) that occur as part of the body's fight-or-flight response to stress, as when someone is in a dangerous, frightening, or highly competitive situation, as well as the feelings of heightened energy, excitement, strength, and alertness associated with those symptoms. In figurative use, it suggests a drug that provides something with a jolt of useful energy and stimulation.

He felt a rush of adrenaline as he parachuted from the airplane. The fans were jubilant, raucous, their adrenaline running high.— W. P. Kinsella My reputation was as a single-day racer; show me the start line and I would win on adrenaline and anger, chopping off my competitors one by one.— Lance Armstrong London's summer antiques scene has been given a massive injection of adrenaline.Town and Country

Examples of adrenaline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For some, the obsession is all about the adrenaline rush as danger rises with the speedometer. NBC News, 22 Apr. 2022 And then, in that ATV thing, with rolling waves of fear giving way to adrenaline, devouring my peanut butter and jelly sandwich with animalistic fervor. Lisa Wells, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 The book’s drama unfolds at the card table — the rivers, the flops, the risks and consequences — in a way that jolts adrenaline regardless of your familiarity with the game. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2021 Deep in the woods, Diana felt a tinge of fear, but her adrenaline overpowered it. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Doing something out of the box can get your adrenaline going and make for great memories. Brittney Oliver, Essence, 23 Mar. 2022 Over the past two years, our minds have been spinning like Ferris wheels, our adrenaline pumping away at the latest stressor — and in my honest opinion, this has not been good for society’s blood pressure. Darick Spears, Rolling Stone, 29 Dec. 2021 Such a stance also enabled Ms. Hill to stay calm and allow her adrenaline to kick in. John Baldoni, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Get your adrenaline pumping with these rides including roller coasters, Dino Train, carousel, giant slide, tilt a whirl, tea cups, Hurricane, Monster Truck, Orient Express and more. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, 17 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adrenaline.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of adrenaline

1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adrenaline

adrenal entry 2 + -ine entry 2

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Time Traveler for adrenaline

Time Traveler

The first known use of adrenaline was in 1890

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adrenaline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for adrenaline


adren·​a·​line | \ ə-ˈdre-nə-lən How to pronounce adrenaline (audio) \

Kids Definition of adrenaline

2 : excited energy Skiing gave me a rush of adrenaline.


adren·​a·​line | \ ə-ˈdren-ᵊl-ən How to pronounce adrenaline (audio) \

Medical Definition of adrenaline

: epinephrine recognized by the British Pharmaceutical Codex as the preferred name for epinephrine in Great Britain

More from Merriam-Webster on adrenaline

Nglish: Translation of adrenaline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adrenaline for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about adrenaline


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