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