1

endocrine

adjective en·do·crine \ ˈen-də-krən , -ˌkrīn , -ˌkrēn \
Updated on: 23 May 2018

Definition of endocrine

1 : secreting internally; specifically : producing secretions that are distributed in the body by way of the bloodstream
  • hormones produced by the endocrine system
2 : of, relating to, affecting, or resembling an endocrine gland or secretion
  • endocrine tumors

Recent Examples of endocrine from the Web

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

Did You Know?

The body's glands remove specific substances from the blood and alter them for rerelease into the blood or removal. Glands such as those that produce saliva and sweat secrete their products through tiny ducts or tubes on or near the body's surface. The glands without ducts, called the endocrine glands, instead secrete their products into the bloodstream; the endo- root indicates that the secretions are internal rather than on the surface. The endocrine system includes such glands as the pituitary (which controls growth, regulates the other endocrines, and performs many other tasks), the thyroid (another growth gland that also influences metabolism), the adrenals (which secrete adrenaline and steroids), the hypothalamus (which influences sleep and weight regulation), and the ovaries (which produce eggs). Endocrine problems are treated by endocrinologists.

Origin and Etymology of endocrine

borrowed from French, from endo- endo- + -crine, as in olocrine, holocrine holocrine and mérocrine merocrine
Note: Word introduced by the French histologist Édouard Laguesse (1861-1927) in "Sur la formation des îlots de Langerhans dans le pancréas," Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances et mémoires de la Société de Biologie, 45. tome (1893), p. 820. The conclusions summarized in this report were treated in more detail in the author's "Recherches sur l'histogénie du pancréas chez le mouton," carried over two numbers of the Journal de l'anatomie et de la physiologie, vols. 31-32 (1895-96). In vol. 32, p. 245, Laguesse remarks on the word, now used in the collocation îlots endocrines, referring to the islets of Langerhans: "C'est en 1893 (29 juillet), dans une communication préliminaire faite à la Société de Biologie, que j'ais pour la première fois prononcé ce mot et émis cet hypothèse, mais avec une grande réserve…" ("It was in 1893 (July 29), in a preliminary communication made to the Société de Biologie, that I uttered this word and put forward this hypothesis for the first time, though with great reserve…"). In an undated manuscript note Laguesse commented on the introduction of the word: "Dès ma première communication sur les îlots pancréatiques en 1893, j'avais été gêné d'avoir toujours à répéter ce qualificatif 'à sécrétion interne' et j'étais frappé de la bonne allure et de la simplicité des termes holocrine et mérocrine créés par Ranvier. A son exemple je forgeai le vocable endocrine, de ενδον en dedans, κρινω je sépare, je sécrète. Il devait répondre à une véritable nécessité, si nous en jugeon[s] d'après son succès." ("From the time of my first communication on the pancreatic islets in 1893, I was bothered by the need to always repeat the qualification 'by internal secretion,' and I was struck by the attractiveness and simplicity of the terms holocrine and merocrine created by Ranvier. After his example I coined the word endocrine, de endon 'inside' and krinō 'I separate, I secrete.' It must have responded to a real need, to judge by its success.") (See reproduction of the note in Pierre Fossati, "Edouard Laguesse à Lille en 1893 crée le terme 'endocrine' et ouvre l'ère de l'endocrinologie," Histoire des sciences médicales, tome 38 [2004], pp. 433-40.)

Other Physiology Terms


2

endocrine

noun

Definition of endocrine

Recent Examples of endocrine from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of endocrine

derivative of 1endocrine

Other Physiology Terms


Medical Dictionary

1

endocrine

adjective en·do·crine \ ˈen-də-krən , -ˌkrīn , -ˌkrēn \

medical Definition of endocrine

1 : secreting internally; specifically : producing secretions that are distributed in the body by way of the bloodstream
  • an endocrine organ
2 : of, relating to, affecting, or resembling an endocrine gland or secretion
  • endocrine tumors

2

endocrine

noun

medical Definition of endocrine



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