adren·​a·​line | \ ə-ˈdre-nə-lən \

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

The Sky Tower itself has an observatory deck for bonkers views of the city and Pacific ocean, and adrenaline junkies can strap in and walk along an outside ledge or bungee jump (!) off the tallest manmade structure in the country. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Auckland, New Zealand," 11 Feb. 2019 In short, adrenaline-seekers will not be disappointed. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "6 Envy-Inducing Ways to Experience the Best of Verbier," 1 Nov. 2018 In Jackson, one of the best non-adrenaline activities is the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Way To Spend 72 Hours at Jackson Hole," 31 July 2018 To go fast on skis, really fast, and feel...not so much in control, but masterful, skilled, is an adrenaline rush that can’t be replicated. Candice Rainey, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It's Like to Ski With an Olympian," 4 Dec. 2018 Student loans aren’t scary the way roller coasters are — a quick hit of adrenaline and a silly souvenir photo to capture the moment. Brianna Mcgurran, The Seattle Times, "Are you afraid of your college debt?," 23 Oct. 2018 Panic and adrenaline are great in certain situations, but not in cave-diving. Danica Kirka, Fox News, "British divers bring experience to Thai cave drama," 4 July 2018 There is a lot of emotion and adrenaline out there. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets players, coaches met with top referees to discuss rules, conduct," 20 Mar. 2018 For many entrepreneurs, these early adrenaline-fueled days can be a messy period of trial and error. Laura Entis, Fortune, "How to Hire: The Marketing CEO," 23 May 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for adrenaline

The first known use of adrenaline was in 1890

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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 \

Kids Definition of adrenaline

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


adren·​a·​line | \ ə-ˈdren-ᵊl-ən \

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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