serotonin

noun

se·​ro·​to·​nin ˌsir-ə-ˈtō-nən How to pronounce serotonin (audio)
ˌser-
: a phenolic amine neurotransmitter C10H12N2O that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the brain, blood serum, and gastric mucous membrane of mammals

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web By flooding the brain with dopamine and serotonin, two major neurotransmitters involved in reward pathways, users can experience a sense of euphoria and an improved mood that can last for several hours. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2022 The link between depression and serotonin is even less understood. Ashley Abramson, Health, 23 Jan. 2023 Snort-laughs and serotonin are the perfect addition to your reading list. Sarah Wendell, Washington Post, 3 Dec. 2022 First there were tricyclic antidepressants, then there were SSRIs like Prozac and SNRIs like Cymbalta, drugs that target neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, 2 Oct. 2022 First, there is the obvious impossibility of plucking the best lines from a novel where every sentence reads like a straight shot of serotonin. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, 27 Dec. 2022 Low levels of serotonin can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. Dallas News, 22 Dec. 2022 Spinal tap studies in Sister 1 revealed very low levels of 5HIAA, which is a by-product of brain serotonin (5HT). Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 22 Oct. 2011 Their folate and vitamin B6 aid in the production of serotonin, which can help improve mood and reduce anxiety. Valerie Agyeman, Good Housekeeping, 29 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serotonin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

sero- + ton(ic) entry 2 or tone entry 1 + -in entry 1, probably after angiotonin, earlier name for angiotensin — more at angiotensin

Note: Term introduced by Maurice M. Rapport, Arda Alden Green and Irvine H. Page in "Crystalline serotonin," Science, vol. 108, Issue 2804 (September 24, 1948), pp. 329-330: "The general behavior of the crystalline substance is suggestive of its homogeneity. We would like provisionally to name it serotonin, which indicates that its source is serum and its activity is one of causing constriction."

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of serotonin was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near serotonin

Cite this Entry

“Serotonin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serotonin. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition

serotonin

noun
se·​ro·​to·​nin ˌsir-ə-ˈtō-nən How to pronounce serotonin (audio) ˌser- How to pronounce serotonin (audio)
: a phenolic amine neurotransmitter C10H12N2O that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the brain, blood serum, and gastric mucous membrane of mammals

called also 5-HT, 5-hydroxytryptamine

More from Merriam-Webster on serotonin

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY