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variant of adreno- before a vowel: adrenergic.
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What does adren- mean?

Adren- is a combining form used like a prefix representing either adrenal or adrenaline, especially used in medical terms.

Adrenal relates to the adrenal glands. What are the adrenal glands and where are they located? The adrenal glands are a pair of glands located above the kidneys that produce steroidal hormones, including adrenaline (also called epinephrine). The hormones are essential for our bodies to function, and the inadequate production of them is known as adrenal insufficiency; one unproven theory claims that so-called adrenal fatigue is a form of adrenal insufficiency caused by extreme stress.

Adren- is based on the Latin prefix ad-, meaning “toward,” and rēnēs, “kidney.” You can use that to remember where the adrenal glands are found in the body!

Adren- is a variant of adreno-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use adreno- article.

Examples of adren-

One example of a medical term that features the combining form adren- is adrenergic. Adrenergic variously means “of or like adrenaline (epinephrine) in effect” and “releasing or activated by adrenaline.”

The first part of the word, adren-, refers to the hormone adrenaline, as we have seen. The second part, -ergic, means “activated by, releasing, resembling the effect produced by.”

So, adrenergic? It can literally translate to “activated by, releasing, or resembling the effect produced by adrenaline”—precisely what it means!

What are some words that use the combining form adren-?

What are some other forms that adren- may be commonly confused with?

The combining form adren- is not to be confused with “adreN,” the in-game nickname of Eric Hoag, a professional player of the video game Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Break it down!

The combining form -itis is used in medical terms to denote “inflammation.” What is the condition of adrenalitis?

Medical definitions for adren-


Variant ofadreno-
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.