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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Everyone has a ritual when faced with the endorphin-rushing visuals of a perfectly ripe fruit, the scent of natural sugars wafting about. New York Times, 7 June 2021 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, 29 Sep. 2020 There’s just something about dancing that gets those endorphins moving. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 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, 1 May 2020 Exercising releases endorphins that boost your mood and reduce your overall stress. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 24 Apr. 2020 Laughing gets endorphins flowing, and comedy often comes cheaper than other forms of live entertainment. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 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, 23 Mar. 2020 But there were times the endorphin rushes weren't quite enough. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, 12 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of endorphin

1976, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for endorphin

International Scientific Vocabulary endogenous + morphine

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best exercise bikes of 2021.

Learn More About endorphin

Time Traveler for endorphin

Time Traveler

The first known use of endorphin was in 1976

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near endorphin




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for endorphin

Cite this Entry

“Endorphin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endorphin. Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!