endorphin

noun
en·​dor·​phin | \en-ˈdȯr-fən \

Definition of endorphin 

: any of a group of endogenous peptides (such as enkephalin) found especially in the brain that bind chiefly to opiate receptors and produce some pharmacological effects (such as pain relief) like those of opiates specifically : beta-endorphin

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Did You Know?

The word endorphin was coined, back when the substances were discovered in the 1970s, by joining pieces of endogenous and morphine, morphine being a narcotic that closely resembles the endorphins and relieves pain in a similar way. Studies suggest that the pain-relieving practice called acupuncture works by releasing endorphins. Endorphins also seem to play an important role in pregnancy. Though much remains to be learned about the endorphins, the general public seems ready to give them credit for any all-natural high.

Examples of endorphin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Experts aren’t quite sure why exercise may help ward off migraines in some people, but there’s a lot of curiosity around physical activity’s ability to modulate a person’s pain response through endorphins or other influences. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Yes, Your Workouts Could Actually Be Triggering Your Migraines," 23 June 2018 Interestingly, the higher the levels of endorphins that were present, the more euphoric the jumper reported feeling. Richard Stephens, Smithsonian, "The History and Psychology of Roller Coasters," 12 July 2018 Daily cardio sweat sessions double as a natural endorphin high—and an opportunity to meet your next suitor. 7. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "10 Beauty Lessons We Learned From Sex and the City, in GIFs," 6 June 2018 The experiment with bungee jumpers suggest that people with higher levels of endorphins feel higher levels of euphoria. Richard Stephens, Smithsonian, "The History and Psychology of Roller Coasters," 12 July 2018 Like, chemical endorphins pumping in my brain also help. Bradley Babendir, Longreads, "Storytelling the Flood: Elizabeth Rush on Empathy and Climate Change," 7 June 2018 Midland's Mark Wystrach, riding an endorphin high after his band's set at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, Calif., saunters up to a backstage picnic table where Jason Owen sits, midinterview, sipping on a beer. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard's 2018 Country Power Players List Revealed: The Industry's Most Influential," 5 June 2018 Acupuncture works by putting very fine needles into specific points in the body to stimulate the nerves on or beneath the skin and signal the brain to release the body’s natural painkillers like endorphins or dopamine. Lindsay Carlton, Fox News, "Acupuncture gives relief to cancer patients suffering insomnia," 8 June 2018 The endorphins seem to come in moments of sudden and fleeting clarity. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "When life gets too demanding, the outdoors is an escape hatch," 17 May 2018

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

1976, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for endorphin

International Scientific Vocabulary endogenous + morphine

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Time Traveler for endorphin

The first known use of endorphin was in 1976

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More Definitions for endorphin

endorphin

noun
en·​dor·​phin | \en-ˈdȯr-fən \

Medical Definition of endorphin 

: any of a group of endogenous peptides (as enkephalin and dynorphin) found especially in the brain that bind chiefly to opiate receptors and produce some of the same pharmacological effects (as pain relief) as those of opiates specifically : beta-endorphin

More from Merriam-Webster on endorphin

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about endorphin

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