|Also called: ductless gland any of the glands that secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream, including the pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, testes, ovaries, and the pancreatic islets of Langerhans|
endocrine gland n.
Any of various ductless glands, such as the thyroid, adrenal, or pituitary, having hormonal secretions that pass directly into the bloodstream. Also called ductless gland.
|endocrine gland (ěn'də-krĭn, -krēn') Pronunciation Key
A gland of the body that produces hormones and secretes them directly into the bloodstream. In mammals, the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, and pituitary gland, as well as the ovaries, testes, and the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas are endocrine glands.
any of the systems found in animals for the production of hormones, substances that regulate the functioning of the organism. Such a system may range, at its simplest, from the neurosecretory, involving one or more centres in the nervous system, to the complex array of glands found in the human endocrine system.
Learn more about endocrine gland with a free trial on Britannica.com.