One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two peptide compounds occurring naturally in the brain, related to the endorphins and having similar physiological effects.
- ‘Endorphin and enkephalins are released, creating a euphoric effect.’
- ‘For example, it enhances production of naturally occurring morphine-like substances called endorphins and enkephalins that moderate pain.’
- ‘Within a few years, researchers had isolated two classes of peptide molecules, the enkephalins and the endorphins.’
- ‘Belief and expectation, cardinal components of hope, can block pain by releasing the brain's endorphins and enkephalins, thereby mimicking the effect of morphine.’
- ‘Pleasant diversion and vigorous exercise help as they increase the inborn production of pain killers called endorphins or enkephalins.’
1970s: from Greek enkephalos ‘brain’ (from en- ‘in’ + kephalē ‘head’) + -in.
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