[sis-tuh-lee, -lee]


Physiology. the normal rhythmical contraction of the heart, during which the blood in the chambers is forced onward.Compare diastole.
Classical Prosody. the shortening of a syllable regularly long.

Origin of systole

1570–80; < Greek systolḗ a drawing up, contraction, equivalent to sy- sy- + stolḗ pressure, orig., garment, equipment, equivalent to stol- (noun derivative of stéllein to send, place) + feminine noun suffix; cf. diastole, systaltic
Related formspre·sys·to·le, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for systole

Historical Examples of systole

  • The systole of the heart means its contraction: the diastole of the heart means its dilatation.

    William Harvey

    D'Arcy Powers

  • Systole and diastole, the contraction and dilation of the heart and arteries.


    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Systole, diastole, swift and ever swifter goes the Axe of Samson.

    The French Revolution

    Thomas Carlyle

  • The ding of her husband's cash register and the click of her dangle bag mark the systole and diastole of married life.


    Lawton Mackall

  • And so the bombast rolls, and one brags against the other like systole and diastole which balance each other in the same heart.

British Dictionary definitions for systole



contraction of the heart, during which blood is pumped into the aorta and the arteries that lead to the lungsCompare diastole
Derived Formssystolic (sɪˈstɒlɪk), adjective

Word Origin for systole

C16: via Late Latin from Greek sustolē, from sustellein to contract; see systaltic
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 systole

"periodic contraction of the heart and arteries," 1570s, from Greek systole "contraction," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + stem related to stellein "to bring together, draw in; to put" (see diastole).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

systole in Medicine




The rhythmic contraction of the heart, especially of the ventricles, by which blood is driven through the aorta and pulmonary artery after each dilation or diastole.miocardia
Related formssys•tolic (sĭ-stŏlĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

systole in Science



The period during the normal beating of the heart in which the chambers of the heart, especially the ventricles, contract to force blood into the aorta and pulmonary artery. Compare diastole.
Related formssystolic adjective (sĭ-stŏlĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.