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

At Belmont Park, adrenaline junkies can ride the historic Giant Dipper, one of two remaining wooden roller coasters on the West Coast. Dorothy O'donnell,, "On a weekend escape to Pacific Beach, you can party on the boardwalk and chill on the bay," 5 July 2018 Happy Fourth of July Please be careful out there, as adrenaline junkies stockpile their fireworks and emergency responders brace for a hectic night. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Your Fourth of July guide | Wednesday Morning Brief, July 4," 4 July 2018 As bids for this most coveted lot rose from $10,000 to quickly surpass the $100,000 mark, the crowd roared with adrenaline. Elisa Mala, New York Times, "Who Spends $140,000 on a CryptoKitty?," 18 May 2018 Playing on adrenaline, Smith finished with 11 stops to lead the team in tackles for the second consecutive week. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Former Tar Heels LB Andre Smith says Panthers got 'a steal' drafting him in 7th round | Charlotte Observer," 1 May 2018 The movie does receive a welcome shot of adrenaline from Michelle Williams as the heiress to the cosmetics empire (Lauren Hutton pops in as her grandma), whose Barbie-esque appearance is balanced by self-consciousness about her high-pitched voice. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Amy Schumer takes on self-esteem issues in 'I Feel Pretty'," 18 Apr. 2018 Tony Hawk just turned 50—50!—and after decades defying gravity, he's learned that a more down-to-earth lifestyle is an adrenaline rush. Jacob Feldman,, "How Does an Action Sports Superstar Age? Tony Hawk Is Figuring It Out on the Fly," 2 July 2018 But White's craving for the adrenaline rush in the cage drowned out his mentor's advice. The Courier-Journal, "Danger in the cage: Lax regulation in amateur MMA puts lives at risk," 21 June 2018 But a strong showing Tuesday could give him a shot of adrenaline. NBC News, "Three things to watch in California's crucial primary races Tuesday," 5 June 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

28 Sep 2018

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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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