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

Keep scrolling for more

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 In the 1980s some economists worked to build endogenous-growth models that said where innovation came from. The Economist, "Economists explore the consequences of steering technological progress," 18 Jan. 2020 These sequences, known as porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs), have been shown to produce potentially infectious viral particles, though their risk to humans is unclear. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Eyeing organs for human transplants, companies unveil the most extensively gene-edited pigs yet," 19 Dec. 2019 Yeasts from the Candida and Saccharomyces families are able to produce endogenous ethanol within a patients' gut, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Rare medical condition can turn bodies into breweries. Here's how auto-brewery syndrome works," 18 Oct. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of endogenous

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about endogenous

Time Traveler for endogenous

Time Traveler

The first known use of endogenous was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Statistics for endogenous

Cite this Entry

“Endogenous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endogenous. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on endogenous

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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