Definition of adrenaline in US English:


(also adrenalin)


  • 1A hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.

    ‘performing live really gets your adrenaline going’
    Also called epinephrine
    • ‘When you get angry your heart rate and blood pressure go up and you receive a surge of adrenaline and noradrenaline.’
    • ‘The rush of adrenaline to the brain causes the flow of blood to the skin and the internal organs to slow.’
    • ‘The adrenaline was circulating, surging and pumping in the heat of the moment.’
    • ‘She said stressful moments were products of adrenaline and cortisone in the body.’
    • ‘A doctor came into the room and adrenalin flooded her system, and her heart rate went up.’
    • ‘The adrenalin and lactic acid had dulled the senses and for a moment she'd forgotten who she was and what was happening.’
    • ‘Charged with adrenaline, I took several deep breaths and dived into the sump.’
    • ‘Breathing becomes faster, blood pressure rises and adrenalin is released.’
    • ‘Vitamin C in the beans is crucial for a strong immune system and production of the stress hormone adrenalin.’
    • ‘The reason for that is that adrenalin will smooth or relax the muscles in the lungs.’
    • ‘It is known that adrenalin is the hormone that frees fatty acids of the adipose tissues.’
    • ‘I felt a huge rush of adrenaline and for the first time knew I was winning.’
    • ‘The adrenaline of the initial shock had worn off a bit, and I was able to take in the enormity of the event.’
    • ‘This prolonged increase in adrenaline can have negative health effects on the body.’
    • ‘This is due to the liberation of the hormone adrenaline at these times.’
    • ‘Chemicals such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are pumped into the bloodstream.’
    • ‘The crew arrived several minutes later and I was able to get drugs into him, including adrenaline.’
    • ‘Physical activity cuts adrenaline and produces hormones to improve your mood.’
    • ‘It hardly stirs the blood into a frenzy of adrenalin and expectation.’
    • ‘The familiar rush of adrenalin filled Matt's body and he took a deep breath.’
    1. 1.1Adrenalintrademark The hormone epinephrine extracted from animals or prepared synthetically for medicinal purposes.


Early 20th century: from adrenal + -ine.