en·​dor·​phin | \ en-ˈdȯr-fən How to pronounce endorphin (audio) \

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 An orgasm is the release of all that tension, plus a rush of an endorphin called serotonin that spills into your blood stream. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "15 Things Every Girl Needs to Know About Masturbation," 29 Sep. 2020 There’s just something about dancing that gets those endorphins moving. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Working Out From Home: How Utah instructor went viral with her Zumba workout," 17 Apr. 2020 Chewing and licking release endorphins in a dog’s brain making him or her more content and happier. Cathy M. Rosenthal, ExpressNews.com, "Is your dog getting too much exercise as you stay at home amid coronavirus?," 1 May 2020 Exercising releases endorphins that boost your mood and reduce your overall stress. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "8 Self-Care Projects To Work On During Quarantine," 24 Apr. 2020 Laughing gets endorphins flowing, and comedy often comes cheaper than other forms of live entertainment. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "100 Cute Date Ideas so You Never Get Bored Again," 26 Mar. 2020 In normal times, some two dozen hardcore hoopsters meet Tuesdays and Saturdays at the Jewish Community Center to throw elbows and get a therapeutic rush of endorphins. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, "Homebound San Antonio is turning to exercise to ease anxiety — but keeping a distance," 23 Mar. 2020 But there were times the endorphin rushes weren't quite enough. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "This Louisville couple fought Jim Crow laws as teens and later fell in love," 12 Mar. 2020 Exercise will stretch mental and physical muscles, releasing endorphins that boost your sense of well-being. oregonlive, "Horoscope for Feb. 3, 2020: Happy birthday Nathan Lane; Cancer, keep your eye on the ball," 3 Feb. 2020

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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Learn More about endorphin

Time Traveler for endorphin

Time Traveler

The first known use of endorphin was in 1976

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Statistics for endorphin

Last Updated

6 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Endorphin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endorphin. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for endorphin


en·​dor·​phin | \ en-ˈdȯr-fən How to pronounce endorphin (audio) \

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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