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 Unfortunately for Lindor, Thursday brought no outlet for his adrenaline. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "'A little kid from Puerto Rico': Francisco Lindor cashes in with 10-year, $341 million Mets deal," 1 Apr. 2021 If those thoughts get your adrenaline going, please read on. Terry Painter, Forbes, "Forming A Real Estate Syndication: Why Not Start At The Top?," 2 Mar. 2021 Your adrenaline is pumping today and an adventure might do you some good. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for February 24, 2021," 24 Feb. 2021 But the bullfighters know how to keep their adrenaline in check. Tess Demeyer, Dallas News, "Inside a typical day in the life of a bullfighter, the unsung heroes of National Finals Rodeo," 10 Dec. 2020 The Angels believed Robles’ difficulties stemmed from an inability to get his adrenaline pumping in empty ballparks. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Sports great Rafer Johnson dies at 86," 3 Dec. 2020 Nelson told jurors in his opening statement that the tumor increases the flow of adrenaline and was a factor. Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune, "Cardiac arrest and drugs, not low oxygen, caused Floyd's death, defense expert says," 14 Apr. 2021 Kate knew about mothers who did heroic things with the help of adrenaline—vaulted over fences, jumped into the ocean. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, "Separation," 5 Apr. 2021 Adrenochrome is a chemical compound produced by the oxidation of adrenaline. CBS News, "Virginia man arrested during U.S. Capitol assault is "brainwashed," daughter says," 23 Feb. 2021

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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adrenaline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for adrenaline



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

Nglish: Translation of adrenaline for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on adrenaline

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