adrenaline

If you've ever been in a car that screeched to a stop, barely avoiding an accident, you probably felt a surge of adrenaline that left your heart pounding. Adrenaline is a hormone that's released in response to stressful situations.

Adrenaline was named after the gland in the human body that releases it, the adrenal gland. The body secretes adrenaline when danger or stress is present, as a kind of safety measure; when adrenaline is released in your body, you feel your heart beat faster and a sudden rush of energy which might give you the strength to fight off an attacker or flee a dangerous animal.

Definitions of adrenaline
  1. noun
    a catecholamine secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to stress (trade name Adrenalin); stimulates autonomic nerve action
    synonyms: Adrenalin, epinephrin, epinephrine
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    pressor, vasoconstrictive, vasoconstrictor
    any agent that causes a narrowing of an opening of a blood vessel: cold or stress or nicotine or epinephrine or norepinephrine or angiotensin or vasopressin or certain drugs; maintains or increases blood pressure
    endocrine, hormone, internal secretion
    the secretion of an endocrine gland that is transmitted by the blood to the tissue on which it has a specific effect
    neurotransmitter
    a neurochemical that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse
    catecholamine
    any of a group of chemicals including epinephrine and norepinephrine that are produced in the medulla of the adrenal gland
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