from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Physiology The normal rhythmically occurring relaxation and dilatation of the heart chambers, especially the ventricles, during which they fill with blood.
- n. The lengthening of a normally short syllable in Greek and Latin verse.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The phase or process of relaxation and dilation of the heart chambers, between contractions, during which they fill with blood; an instance of the process.
- n. The lengthening of a vowel or syllable beyond its typical length.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The rhythmical expansion or dilatation of the heart and arteries; -- correlative to
systole, or contraction.
- n. A figure by which a syllable naturally short is made long.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The normal rhythmical dilatation or relaxation of the heart or other blood-vessel, which alternates with systole or contraction, the two movements together constituting pulsation or beating: as, auricular diastole; ventricular diastole.
- n. The period or length of time during which a rhythmically pulsating vessel is relaxed or dilated; the time-interval which alternates with systole.
- n. In Greek grammar, a mark similar in position and shape to a comma, but originally semicircular in form, used to indicate the correct separation of words, and guard against a false division, such as might pervert the sense.
- n. In ancient prosody, lengthening or protraction of a syllable regularly short; especially, protraction of a syllable preceding a pause or taking the ictus: as
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the widening of the chambers of the heart between two contractions when the chambers fill with blood
Greek diastolē, dilation, separation, from diastellein, to expand : dia-, apart; see dia- + stellein, to place, send; see stel- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek διαστολή (diastolē, "separation, drawing asunder"), from διά (dia, "apart") + στέλλειν (stellein, "send"). (Wiktionary)