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endorphin

[en-dawr-fin] /ɛnˈdɔr fɪn/
noun
1.
any of a group of peptides occurring in the brain and other tissues of vertebrates, and resembling opiates, that react with the brain's opiate receptors to raise the pain threshold.
Origin
1970-1975
1970-75; end(ogenous) (m)orphine, with -ine respelled as -in2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for endorphin
  • Maybe there's some sort of endorphin rush, or possibly his church thinks his candidacy will earn it some converts.
  • So the researchers used the endorphins' pain relief to determine if laughter causes an endorphin release.
  • It's a wonderful way to see the country and to get that endorphin rush that makes a bad day a little more tolerable.
  • There's a special kind of endorphin rush here that normal grids can't deliver.
British Dictionary definitions for endorphin

endorphin

/ɛnˈdɔːfɪn/
noun
1.
any of a class of polypeptides, including enkephalin, occurring naturally in the brain, that bind to pain receptors and so block pain sensation
Word Origin
C20: from endo- + morphine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for endorphin
n.

1975, from French endorphine, from endogène "endogenous, growing within" (see endo- + genus) + (mo)rphine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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endorphin in Medicine

endorphin en·dor·phin (ěn-dôr'fĭn)
n.
Any of a group of peptide hormones that bind to opiate receptors and are found mainly in the brain. Endorphins reduce the sensation of pain and affect emotions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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endorphin in Science
endorphin
  (ěn-dôr'fĭn)   
Any of a group of peptide substances secreted by the anterior portion of the pituitary gland that inhibit the perception of painful stimuli. Endorphins act as neurotransmitters in the pain pathways of the brain and spinal cord. Narcotic drugs may stimulate the secretion of endorphins.

Our Living Language  : Endorphins are long chains of amino acids, or polypeptides, that are able to bind to the neuroreceptors in the brain and are capable of relieving pain in a manner similar to that of morphine. There are three major types of endorphins: beta-endorphins are found almost entirely in the pituitary gland, while enkephalins and dynorphins are both distributed throughout the nervous system. Scientists had suspected that analgesic opiates, such as morphine and heroin, worked effectively against pain because the body had receptors that were activated by such drugs. They reasoned that these receptors probably existed because the body itself had natural painkilling compounds that also bonded to those receptors. When scientists in the 1970s isolated a biochemical from a pituitary gland hormone that showed analgesic properties, Choh Li, a chemist from Berkeley, California, named it endorphin, meaning "the morphine within." Besides behaving as a pain reducer, endorphins are also thought to be connected to euphoric feelings, appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones. Prolonged, continuous exercise contributes to an increased production of endorphins and, in some people, the subsequent "runner's high."
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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