Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[per-uh-stawl-sis, -stal-] /ˌpɛr əˈstɔl sɪs, -ˈstæl-/
noun, plural peristalses
[per-uh-stawl-seez, -stal-] /ˌpɛr əˈstɔl siz, -ˈstæl-/ (Show IPA).
the progressive wave of contraction and relaxation of a tubular muscular system, especially the alimentary canal, by which the contents are forced through the system.
Origin of peristalsis
1855-60; < New Latin < Greek peri- peri- + stálsis contraction, equivalent to stal- (variant stem of stéllein to set, bring together, compress) + -sis -sis
Related forms
hyperperistalsis, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for hyper-peristalsis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
(physiol) the succession of waves of involuntary muscular contraction of various bodily tubes, esp of the alimentary tract, where it effects transport of food and waste products
Derived Forms
peristaltic, adjective
peristaltically, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from peri- + Greek stalsis compression, from stellein to press together
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hyper-peristalsis



1859, Modern Latin peristalsis; see peristaltic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
hyper-peristalsis in Medicine

peristalsis per·i·stal·sis (pěr'ĭ-stôl'sĭs, -stāl'-)
n. pl. per·i·stal·ses (-sēz)
The wavelike muscular contractions of the intestine or other tubular structure that propel the contents onward by alternate contraction and relaxation. Also called vermicular movement.

per'i·stal'tic (-stôl'tĭk, -stāl'-) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
hyper-peristalsis in Science
The wavelike muscular contractions in tubular structures, especially organs of the digestive system such as the esophagus and the intestines. Peristalsis is characterized by alternate contraction and relaxation, which pushes ingested food through the digestive tract towards its release at the anus. Worms propel themselves through peristaltic movement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
hyper-peristalsis in Culture
peristalsis [(per-uh-stawl-sis, per-uh-stal-sis)]

The wavelike, involuntary muscular contractions that move food through the digestive system.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for hyper-peristalsis

Difficulty index for peristalsis

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hyper

Scrabble Words With Friends