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
    see moresee less
    type of:
    show 4 type of...
    hide 4 type of...
    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
    a neurochemical that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse
    any of a group of chemicals including epinephrine and norepinephrine that are produced in the medulla of the adrenal gland




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘adrenaline'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up adrenaline for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer