hormone

Use the noun hormone to describe a message-sending chemical sent out by glands in the human body, which make you hungry or moody or ready to fight.

All living organisms have hormones, though the ones in plants are very different than those in people. Hormones are part of the endocrine system, which works throughout the body to send signals we need to stay alive and healthy. A hormone is secreted in a pregnant woman when it's time for her baby to be born, for example, and hormones remind us when we need to eat. The Greek root, hormon, means "that which sets in motion."

Definitions of hormone
  1. noun
    the secretion of an endocrine gland that is transmitted by the blood to the tissue on which it has a specific effect
    synonyms: endocrine, internal secretion
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    types:
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    ACTH, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, adrenocorticotrophin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, adrenocorticotropin, corticotrophin, corticotropin
    a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates the adrenal cortex
    Adrenalin, adrenaline, epinephrin, epinephrine
    a catecholamine secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to stress (trade name Adrenalin); stimulates autonomic nerve action
    GI hormones, gastrointestinal hormone
    hormones that affect gastrointestinal functioning
    glucagon
    a hormone secreted by the pancreas; stimulates increases in blood sugar levels in the blood (thus opposing the action of insulin)
    gonadotrophic hormone, gonadotrophin, gonadotropic hormone, gonadotropin
    hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and placenta; stimulates the gonads and controls reproductive activity
    insulin
    hormone secreted by the isles of Langerhans in the pancreas; regulates storage of glycogen in the liver and accelerates oxidation of sugar in cells
    melatonin
    hormone secreted by the pineal gland
    neurohormone
    a hormone that is released by nerve impulses (e.g., norepinephrine or vasopressin)
    Pitocin, oxytocin
    hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitocin); stimulates contractions of the uterus and ejection of milk
    parathormone, parathyroid hormone
    hormone synthesized and released into the blood stream by the parathyroid glands; regulates phosphorus and calcium in the body and functions in neuromuscular excitation and blood clotting
    relaxin
    hormone secreted by the corpus luteum during the last days of pregnancy; relaxes the pelvic ligaments and prepares the uterus for labor
    RH, hypothalamic releasing factor, hypothalamic releasing hormone, releasing factor, releasing hormone
    any of several hormones produced in the hypothalamus and carried by a vein to the anterior pituitary gland where they stimulate the release of anterior pituitary hormones; each of these hormones causes the anterior pituitary to secrete a specific hormone
    STH, growth hormone, human growth hormone, somatotrophic hormone, somatotrophin, somatotropic hormone, somatotropin
    a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland; promotes growth in humans
    thymosin
    hormone secreted by the thymus; stimulates immunological activity of lymphoid tissue
    thyroid hormone
    any of several closely related compounds that are produced by the thyroid gland and are active metabolically
    ADH, Pitressin, antidiuretic hormone, vasopressin
    hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus; affects blood pressure by stimulating capillary muscles and reduces urine flow by affecting reabsorption of water by kidney tubules
    sex hormone, steroid, steroid hormone
    any hormone affecting the development and growth of sex organs
    adrenosterone
    a steroid having androgenic activity; obtained from the cortex of the adrenal gland
    glucocorticoid
    a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal cortex of animals; affects functioning of gonads and has anti-inflammatory activity
    catecholamine
    any of a group of chemicals including epinephrine and norepinephrine that are produced in the medulla of the adrenal gland
    MSH, melanocyte-stimulating hormone
    a hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland that controls the degree of pigmentation in melanocytes
    TSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyrotrophic hormone, thyrotrophin, thyrotropic hormone, thyrotropin
    anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the function of the thyroid gland
    TRF, TRH, protirelin, thyrotropin-releasing factor, thyrotropin-releasing hormone
    hormone released by the hypothalamus that controls the release of thyroid-stimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary
    noradrenaline, norepinephrine
    a catecholamine precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and also released at synapses
    gastrin
    polypeptide hormone secreted by the mucous lining of the stomach; when peptides and amino acids are present in the small intestine the secretion of gastric acid is stimulated
    cholecystokinin
    a gastrointestinal hormone that stimulates the secretion of pancreatic enzymes and the contraction and emptying of the gall bladder; its release is stimulated by the presence of fatty acids and amino acids in the small intestine
    secretin
    a gastrointestinal hormone that stimulates the secretion of water and bicarbonate from the pancreas and bile ducts whenever the stomach empties too much acid into the small intestine
    ghrelin
    a gastrointestinal hormone produced by epithelial cells lining the fundus of the stomach; appears to be a stimulant for appetite and feeding, but is also a strong stimulant of growth hormone secretion from the anterior pituitary
    motilin
    a gastrointestinal hormone that apparently participates in controlling smooth muscle contractions in the stomach and small intestine
    Lente Iletin, Lente Insulin
    trade names for forms of insulin that are used to treat diabetes mellitus
    Humulin, recombinant human insulin
    a form of insulin (trade name Humulin) made from recombinant DNA that is identical to human insulin; used to treat diabetics who are allergic to preparations made from beef or pork insulin
    Protropin
    trade name of a synthetic human growth hormone given to children deficient in the hormone; use by athletes and weightlifters is banned
    calcitonin, thyrocalcitonin
    thyroid hormone that tends to lower the level of calcium in the blood plasma and inhibit resorption of bone
    T, tetraiodothyronine, thyroxin, thyroxine
    hormone produced by the thyroid glands to regulate metabolism by controlling the rate of oxidation in cells
    T, liothyronine, triiodothyronine
    thyroid hormone similar to thyroxine but with one less iodine atom per molecule and produced in smaller quantity; exerts the same biological effects as thyroxine but is more potent and briefer
    corticosterone
    secreted by the adrenal cortex; involved in regulating water and electrolyte balance in the body
    progestin, progestogen
    any of a group of steroid hormones that have the effect of progesterone
    androgen, androgenic hormone
    male sex hormone that is produced in the testes and responsible for typical male sexual characteristics
    FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone
    a gonadotropic hormone that is secreted by the anterior pituitary and stimulates growth of Graafian follicles in female mammals, and activates the cells in male mammals that form sperm
    HCG, human chorionic gonadotrophin, human chorionic gonadotropin
    hormone produced early in pregnancy by the placenta; detection in the urine and serum is the basis for one kind of pregnancy test
    ICSH, LH, interstitial cell-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone
    a gonadotropic hormone that is secreted by the anterior pituitary; stimulates ovulation in female mammals and stimulates androgen release in male mammals
    lactogenic hormone, luteotropin, prolactin
    gonadotropic hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary; in females it stimulates growth of the mammary glands and lactation after parturition
    estrogen, oestrogen
    a general term for female steroid sex hormones that are secreted by the ovary and responsible for typical female sexual characteristics
    adrenal cortical steroid, corticoid, corticosteroid
    a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex or synthesized; administered as drugs they reduce swelling and decrease the body's immune response
    Pediapred, Prelone, prednisolone
    a glucocorticoid (trade names Pediapred or Prelone) used to treat inflammatory conditions
    Deltasone, Liquid Pred, Meticorten, Orasone, prednisone
    a dehydrogenated analogue of cortisol (trade names Orasone or Deltasone or Liquid Pred or Meticorten); used as an anti-inflammatory drug in the treatment of arthritis and as an immunosuppressant
    anabolic steroid
    any of a group of synthetic steroid hormones used to stimulate muscle and bone growth; more than 100 have been developed and each requires a prescription to be used legally in the United States; sometimes used illicitly by athletes to increase their strength
    type of:
    secretion
    a functionally specialized substance (especially one that is not a waste) released from a gland or cell
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