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 Several businesses put congregants through high-stress simulations, meant to prepare them to react in cases when their adrenaline is pumping. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "God and a Glock: Texas churchgoers are training to fight off attackers wielding guns," 7 Feb. 2020 But sometimes the best mental approach to the playoffs is managing your adrenaline and managing the edge. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Should the Lakers & Clippers be downplaying their Christmas Day game?," 25 Dec. 2019 Check out green vervet monkeys swinging in the property’s mango trees before setting sail for a lunchtime catamaran ride, or get your adrenaline pumping while hiking Nevis Peak with an expert guide. Louise Hart, Town & Country, "4 International Itineraries for a Vacation Fit for a Royal," 7 Nov. 2019 No matter what your age, the new Fun In, a trampoline and virtual reality park in Middletown, will get your adventure adrenaline pumping. Susan Dunne,, "You’ll find lots of high-flying adventure at Fun In, Middletown’s trampoline and virtual-reality park," 23 Oct. 2019 Netflix + Summit Entertainment + Universal PicturesUniversal Elaborately choreographed gun fights, masterful martial-arts set pieces, and fine-ass assassins get our adrenaline pumping. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best New Action Movies to Get You Fired Up," 15 Oct. 2019 His swagger was an adrenaline shot to the heart of an operation that USC’s new leadership knew had become stagnant. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "How USC is experiencing a bold recruiting renaissance even during coronavirus crisis," 1 May 2020 At the hospitals, days were sometimes a mix of tears and adrenaline. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'You can see the fear written all over them': Two Milwaukee-based respiratory therapists talk about what it's like on the front lines," 1 May 2020 Daniel redirected his restless energy and hunger for adrenaline into cocaine and small-scale street crime. John Brant, Popular Mechanics, "At the Bionic Olympics, Engineers and Athletes Make Miracles," 27 Apr. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for adrenaline

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adrenaline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce adrenaline (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of adrenaline

: 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


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on adrenaline

Spanish Central: Translation of adrenaline

Nglish: Translation of adrenaline for Spanish Speakers

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

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