en·​keph·​a·​lin in-ˈke-fə-lən How to pronounce enkephalin (audio)
: either of two pentapeptides with opiate and analgesic activity that occur naturally especially in the brain and have a marked affinity for opiate receptors compare endorphin

Examples of enkephalin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During that time, your body tends to produce less endorphins and enkephalins, which are natural pain-killers, than at any other time of day, according to the National Headache Foundation. Korin Miller, SELF, 24 Aug. 2017

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

Word History


enkephal- (alteration of encephal-) + -in

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of enkephalin was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near enkephalin

Cite this Entry

“Enkephalin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enkephalin. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


en·​keph·​a·​lin in-ˈkef-ə-lən, -(ˌ)lin How to pronounce enkephalin (audio)
: either of two pentapeptide endorphins:

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