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 Focused on exercise, making sure your heart rate gets up and releasing those endorphins. Helen Carefoot, chicagotribune.com, "Exercise keeps ‘CBS Evening News’ anchor Norah O’Donnell sane," 11 Oct. 2019 Working out causes our bodies to release endorphins, which are sometimes thought of as natural antidepressants. Olivia Muenter, Health.com, "This Is What Happened When I Stopped Using Exercise as a Way to Lose Weight," 18 Sep. 2019 Dom Drop and Sub Drop: During a BDSM scene, endorphins and adrenaline run high for all partners. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "A Beginner’s Guide to Impact Play," 1 May 2019 Dunking on them both was a reflexive burst of endorphin-charging smugness, and soon became shorn of any political overtones whatever. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Republic, "Moments Without Truth," 21 Oct. 2019 These compounds, the most commonly known of which are endorphins, have a similar chemical structure to morphine, heroin, or oxycodone. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "A radical approach to confronting addiction puts human connection first," 19 Sep. 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 What gets the endorphins going more than a drumline (and no, drugs don’t count)? Erin Granat, Billboard, "ODESZA Bring Tears, Fireworks & Leon Bridges to Final Stop of 'A Moment Apart' Tour," 29 July 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

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

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Endorphin.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endorphins. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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

Comments on endorphin

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