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[nawr-ep-uh-nef-rin, -reen]
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  1. Also called noradrenaline. Physiology. a neurotransmitter, released by adrenergic nerve terminals in the autonomic and possibly the central nervous system, that has such effects as constricting blood vessels, raising blood pressure, and dilating bronchi.
  2. Pharmacology. a commercial form of this substance used for emergency treatment of lowered blood pressure.

Origin of norepinephrine

First recorded in 1940–45; nor- + epinephrine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for norepinephrine


  1. the US name for noradrenaline
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

Word Origin and History for norepinephrine


1868, from normal (in reference to molecular structure) + epinephrine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

norepinephrine in Medicine


  1. A substance, both a hormone and neurotransmitter, secreted by the adrenal medulla and the nerve endings of the sympathetic nervous system to cause vasoconstriction and increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and the sugar level of the blood.levarterenol noradrenalin
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

norepinephrine in Science


  1. A substance that acts both as a neurotransmitter and hormone, secreted in the central nervous system, at the nerve endings of the sympathetic nervous system, and by the adrenal gland. Norepinephrine is similar to epinephrine in its physiological effects but acts to regulate regular physiologic activity rather than being released in response to stress. Also called noradrenaline. Chemical formula: C8H11NO3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.