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  1. of or like epinephrine in effect.
  2. releasing epinephrine.
  3. activated by epinephrine or any of various substances having epinephrinelike activity.
  1. a drug or other agent having an epinephrinelike effect.
Compare cholinergic.

Origin of adrenergic

First recorded in 1930–35; adren- + -ergic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for adrenergic


  1. releasing or activated by adrenaline or an adrenaline-like substance

Word Origin

C20: adrenaline + Greek ergon work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

adrenergic in Medicine


  1. Activated by or capable of releasing epinephrine or an epinephrinelike substance, especially in the sympathetic nervous system.
  2. Having physiological effects similar to those of epinephrine.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

adrenergic in Science


  1. Relating to a neuron or axon that is activated by or capable of releasing epinephrine or an epinephrine-like substance when a nerve impulse passes. The nerve endings of the sympathetic nervous system are adrenergic.
  2. Having physiological effects similar to those of epinephrine, as certain drugs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.