Definition of adrenaline
: epinephrine ◆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. 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 In figurative use, it suggests a drug that provides something with a jolt of useful energy and stimulation. London's summer antiques scene has been given a massive injection of adrenaline. — Town and Country
Recent Examples of adrenaline from the Web
Wichita State was a great addition, a real shot of adrenaline for basketball.
Naturally, a guy that careens down the face of waves with bone-crushing power thinks adrenaline is a pretty important chemical.
Quite frequently during individual events, an unabashed competitor will clap his or her hands slowly, rhythmically and then be joined by the crowd in hopes the support will conjure adrenaline.
Angel was starting to grin, feeling the familiar rush of adrenaline that came when all bets were made and all anyone could do was find out what lay in the dealer's deck.
Digital editing equipment (and a lot of adrenaline) will enable the crew to do a week's worth of postproduction in two days.
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.
Origin and Etymology of adrenaline
First Known Use: 1890
ADRENALINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of adrenaline for English Language Learners
: a substance that is released in the body of a person who is feeling a strong emotion (such as excitement, fear, or anger) and that causes the heart to beat faster and gives the person more energy
ADRENALINE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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