noun Biochemistry.

either of two pentapeptides that bind to morphine receptors in the central nervous system and have opioid properties of relatively short duration; one pentapeptide (Met enkephalin) has the amino acid sequence Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Met and the other (Leu enkephalin) has the sequence Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Leu.

Nearby words

  1. enjoin,
  2. enjoinder,
  3. enjoy,
  4. enjoyable,
  5. enjoyment,
  6. enkephalinergic,
  7. enki,
  8. enkidu,
  9. enkindle,
  10. enkolpion

Origin of enkephalin

1970–75; < Greek enképhal(os) encephalon + -in2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for enkephalin


encephalin (ɛnˈsɛfəlɪn)


a chemical occurring in the brain, having effects similar to those of morphineSee also endorphin
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

Medicine definitions for enkephalin




Either of two closely related pentapeptides having opiate qualities and occurring especially in the brain and spinal cord.

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