Share this entry

Share this page

enkephalin

Syllabification: en·keph·al·in
Pronunciation: /enˈkefələn
 
/

Definition of enkephalin in English:

noun

Biochemistry
Either of two compounds that occur naturally in the brain. They are peptides related to the endorphins, with similar physiological effects.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • Endorphin and enkephalins are released, creating a euphoric effect.

Origin

1970s: from Greek enkephalos 'brain' (from en- 'in' + kephalē 'head') + -in1.

Definition of enkephalin in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…