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Meaning of fight-or-flight reaction

fight'-or-flight' reac"tion

Pronunciation: (fīt'ôr-flīt'), [key]
— Physiol., Psychol. Physiol.,Psychol.
  1. the response of the sympathetic nervous system to a stressful event, preparing the body to fight or flee, associated with the adrenal secretion of epinephrine and characterized by increased heart rate, increased blood flow to the brain and muscles, raised sugar levels, sweaty palms and soles, dilated pupils, and erect hairs. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.