cortisol

noun
cor·​ti·​sol | \ ˈkȯr-tə-ˌsȯl How to pronounce cortisol (audio) , -ˌzȯl, -ˌsōl, -ˌzōl\

Definition of cortisol

: a glucocorticoid C21H30O5 produced by the adrenal cortex upon stimulation by ACTH that mediates various metabolic processes (such as gluconeogenesis), has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, and whose levels in the blood may become elevated in response to physical or psychological stress

called also hydrocortisone

Examples of cortisol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Studies have shown that when people are given positive reinforcement before a challenge, DHEA levels outweigh those of cortisol, which is associated with negative responses such as impaired immune function and even depression. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Now, Experts Say Stress Can Be Good for Your Health—Really," 18 Dec. 2018 According to studies, breathing in rose water lowers the amount of cortisol (a.k.a. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Beauty Benefits of Rose Water," 8 Feb. 2019 For people on the Pill as well, changes in cortisol aren’t likely to affect their periods. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Why Does It Seem Like I Always Get My Period While Traveling?," 8 Apr. 2019 The cortisol levels in my bloodstream boil at a level just shy of requiring evacuation of the tristate area. Brennan Kilbane And Theresa O'rourke, Allure, "The Best (Sort of) Free Ways to De-stress With Nature," 28 Mar. 2019 The same cortisol that increases stress can block the brain functions needed for creativity and problem solving. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "The Invisible Benefits of Running," 19 June 2018 Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which encourages your body to store more fat, particularly around your belly. Karyn Repinski, Woman's Day, "New Research Links Belly Fat to an Increased Risk of Heart Attacks in Women," 23 Jan. 2019 Mifepristone, the active ingredient in Korlym, helps Cushing's patients by blocking the body's ability to process cortisol. Sarah Jane Tribble, chicagotribune.com, "How an abortion pill turned out to be a treatment for a rare disease," 8 Apr. 2018 Changes in cortisol can affect the body’s insulin levels and its ability to break down sugar. Alice Park, Time, "Working Long Hours Can Raise the Risk of This Disease," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cortisol.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cortisol

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cortisol

cortisone + -ol entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cortisol

Statistics for cortisol

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cortisol

The first known use of cortisol was in 1951

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cortisol

cortisol

noun
cor·​ti·​sol | \ ˈkȯrt-ə-ˌsȯl, -ˌzȯl, -ˌsōl, -ˌzōl How to pronounce cortisol (audio) \

Medical Definition of cortisol

: a glucocorticoid C21H30O5 produced by the adrenal cortex upon stimulation by ACTH that mediates various metabolic processes (as gluconeogenesis), has anti-inflammatory and immunosupressive properties, and whose levels in the blood may become elevated in response to physical or psychological stress

called also hydrocortisone

More from Merriam-Webster on cortisol

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cortisol

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cortisol

Comments on cortisol

What made you want to look up cortisol? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!