en·​dog·​e·​nous | \ en-ˈdä-jə-nəs How to pronounce endogenous (audio) \

Definition of endogenous

1 : growing or produced by growth from deep tissue endogenous plant roots
2a : caused by factors inside the organism or system suffered from endogenous depression endogenous business cycles
b : produced or synthesized within the organism or system an endogenous hormone

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Other Words from endogenous

endogenously adverb

Did You Know?

When biologists need to make a distinction between things that are produced within a cell or organ and things that affect it from the outside, they use the terms endogenous and exogenous. It used to be thought, for instance, that mutations in cells always resulted from exogenous causes, until it was discovered that substances in the body, including those called oxidants, could cause them endogenously as well. "Circadian rhythms"—the regular cycles, roughly 24 hours in length, that plants, animals, and humans rely on to regulate their days—are endogenously generated and don't actually depend on the sun for their timing.

Examples of endogenous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If KoRV follows the path of other endogenous retroviruses, that trend will continue. Quanta Magazine, "Killer Virus Is Invading Koala DNA," 4 Mar. 2015 Our endogenous cannabinoid system, which is named after the cannabis plant, is an important physiologic system in the body which phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, such as THC and CBD, bind to, producing a myriad of experiences. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Here’s How Weed Use Can Improve Your Sex Life," 20 Apr. 2019 Second, the neutral rate is endogenous to economic policy. Kevin Warsh, WSJ, "The Fault Lies in R-Star and in Ourselves," 25 Sep. 2018 Now research suggests these endogenous opioids also play another role: helping regulate the body's energy balance. Stephani Sutherland, Scientific American, "Even Unpalatable Foods Taste Good to the Brain," 1 Dec. 2017 Lauri Nummenmaa, a brain-imaging scientist at the University of Turku in Finland, and his colleagues measured endogenous opioid release in the brains of 10 healthy men. Stephani Sutherland, Scientific American, "Even Unpalatable Foods Taste Good to the Brain," 1 Dec. 2017 Running releases brain chemicals like endorphins and endogenous cannabinoids that can help relieve physical pain and emotional stress. Rachel Tavel, SELF, "How Mourning Runs Have Helped Me Grieve My Dad’s Death," 8 Apr. 2018 Liking or pleasure comes from endogenous opioids [opioids our bodies naturally produce], and dopamine instead does reinforcement and motivation and learning. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Please stop calling dopamine the ‘pleasure chemical’," 27 Mar. 2018 And in lab experiments, these porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) tended to leap from pig to human cells. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Pig Cells That Won’t Go Retro," 24 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'endogenous.' 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 endogenous

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of endogenous was in 1830

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More Definitions for endogenous


en·​dog·​e·​nous | \ en-ˈdäj-ə-nəs How to pronounce endogenous (audio) \
variants: also endogenic \ ˌen-​də-​ˈjen-​ik How to pronounce endogenic (audio) \

Medical Definition of endogenous

1 : growing from or on the inside endogenous spores
2 : caused by factors within the body or mind or arising from internal structural or functional causes endogenous malnutrition endogenous psychic depression
3 : relating to or produced by metabolic synthesis in the body endogenous opioids endogenous amino acids — compare exogenous

Other Words from endogenous

endogenously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on endogenous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with endogenous

Britannica English: Translation of endogenous for Arabic Speakers

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