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[per-uh-stawl-sis, -stal-]
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noun, plural per·i·stal·ses [per-uh-stawl-seez, -stal-] /ˌpɛr əˈstɔl siz, -ˈstæl-/. Physiology.
  1. 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 formshy·per·per·i·stal·sis, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for hyperperistalsis


noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. 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 Formsperistaltic, adjectiveperistaltically, 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

Word Origin and History for hyperperistalsis



1859, Modern Latin peristalsis; see peristaltic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hyperperistalsis in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. A condition marked by excessive rapidity of the passage of food through the stomach and intestine.


([object Object])
  1. reversed peristalsis

hyperperistalsis in Science


  1. 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.

hyperperistalsis in Culture


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