endorphin

noun

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

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 But the endorphin rush of a great trail can be blunted by the high-pitched buzz of a mosquito hovering around your neck, trying to score some lunch. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2024 Some evidence suggests that exercise reduces estrogen levels and releases endorphins, or feel-good hormones that may alleviate pain. Korin Miller, Health, 26 May 2024 It’s also been found to reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, and lessen physical as well as emotional pain by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Dr. Edith Shiro, Billboard, 6 May 2024 By the end, most of us were breathless and slightly sweaty, on a high of high-brow endorphins. Amy Verner, Vogue, 2 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for endorphin 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'endorphin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary endogenous + morphine

First Known Use

1976, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of endorphin was in 1976

Dictionary Entries Near endorphin

Cite this Entry

“Endorphin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endorphin. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

endorphin

noun
en·​dor·​phin en-ˈdȯr-fən How to pronounce endorphin (audio)
: 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

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