Dictionary.com

peristalsis

[ per-uh-stawl-sis, -stal- ]
/ ˌpɛr əˈstɔl sɪs, -ˈstæl- /
Save This Word!

noun, plural per·i·stal·ses [per-uh-stawl-seez, -stal-]. /ˌpɛr əˈstɔl siz, -ˈstæl-/. Physiology.
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.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

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

OTHER WORDS FROM peristalsis

hy·per·per·i·stal·sis, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use peristalsis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for peristalsis

peristalsis
/ (ˌpɛrɪˈstælsɪs) /

noun plural -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 of peristalsis

peristaltic, adjectiveperistaltically, adverb

Word Origin for peristalsis

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

Scientific definitions for peristalsis

peristalsis
[ pĕr′ĭ-stôlsĭs ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for peristalsis

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK