endorphin

noun
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

In fact, singing alone or in groups has been shown to lower stress and raise endorphins. Daniela Province, SFChronicle.com, "How singing became an antidote to stress in the modern age," 20 Aug. 2019 Even a glimpse at one of SVH’s 181 covers — with their varsity-style lettering and gorgeous, soft-focus illustrations by James L. Mathewuse — prompts a rush of nostalgia endorphins. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "Sweet Valley High," 16 Aug. 2019 But her brain kept chasing the endorphin rush of imagining two people in the throes of passion. Lisa Bonos, Washington Post, "A romance novelist struggled with Asperger’s. Now she writes about love on the spectrum.," 19 July 2019 Smart money, then, appears to be flowing with the endorphins. The Economist, "The business of the body," 11 July 2019 But her brain kept chasing the endorphin rush of imagining two people in the throes of passion. Lisa Bonos, Dallas News, "Romance novelist Helen Hoang writes about love on the autism spectrum," 23 July 2019 And the places that serve the stuff are key venues for social exercises—storytelling, gossip, and joke sharing—that boost endorphins, lifting one’s mood, much like a drug. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Why you should totally go to the pub with your mates when you’ve just been laid off," 8 July 2019 Songs about falling in love and experiencing intense betrayal deal in many of the same emotions, caused by a specific cocktail of endorphins and adrenaline. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Most Achy-Breaky Songs About Cheating," 5 July 2019 Jennifer Solomon, a physiatrist at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery, says there are indeed theories that cryotherapy can release endorphins (similar to exercise). Natalie B. Compton, WIRED, "Inside the Bulletproof Coffee Guy’s New Body-Hacking Gym," 10 July 2019

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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Statistics for endorphin

Last Updated

1 Sep 2019

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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 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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