Either of two closely related pentapeptides having opiate qualities and occurring in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body.
[Greek enkephalos, in the head (en-, in; see en in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + kephalē, head; see ghebh-el- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + -IN.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.