from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The wavelike muscular contractions of the alimentary canal or other tubular structures by which contents are forced onward toward the opening.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The rhythmic, wave-like contraction of the digestive tract that forces food through it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Peristaltic contraction or action.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The peculiar involuntary muscular movements of various hollow organs of the body, especially of the alimentary canal, whereby their contents are propelled onward.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the process of wavelike muscle contractions of the alimentary tract that moves food along


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

New Latin, from Greek peristaltikos, peristaltic, from peristellein, to wrap around : peri-, peri- + stellein, to place; see stel- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek περισταλτικός δύναμις ("peristaltic action of the bowels, by which their contents are propelled"), from περιστέλλω ("wrap around"), from περί ("around") + στέλλω ("I place").


  • The oral administration of activated charcoal may effectively prevent systemic absorption of the combination for several hours after ingestion due to delayed gastric emptying and decreased peristalsis from the opiate and glutethimide combination.


  • This increases the minute muscle contractions, also called peristalsis, necessary for good elimination.

    The Fiber35 Diet

  • It is this rolling or pushing motion, called peristalsis, that facilitates elimination through the colon.

    The Fiber35 Diet

  • Not through gravity or little food-carrying gremlins but through a process called peristalsis—a rhythmic contraction of smooth muscle in your gut that moves the lump of food the bolus down through the esophagus and into the intestines.

    You Staying Young

  • Even when empty, our stomach - our entire digestive tract, in fact - makes a wavelike muscular contraction called peristalsis.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Anthraquinones trigger contractions in the colon, called peristalsis, which causes the urge to have a bowel movement.

    Wil's Ebay E-Store

  • The theme of futility/stasis also winds around the harmony vocals and discrete keys of the mid-tempo "The Ouroborus," which is the name for the symbol of a snake eating its tail (always a brainy, wordy lyricist, Jamison is the rare songwriter capable of using a term such as "peristalsis" and making it work).

    Baltimore City Paper

  • The multiple wire-braided construction is engineered to allow the stent to adjust to forces within the esophagus such as peristalsis (involuntary contractions) and strictures.

    Medindia Health News

  • Hirschsprung's disease, which affects peristalsis, the muscular movement that propels food through the intestine.

    Diagnosing and treating pediatric anorectal continence

  • Do you recall the crazy event that isn't documented in that link when Bush/Quayle came to Portland and the "reverse peristalsis painters" vomited red/white/blue mashed potatoes in Pioneer Square?

    Malcolm on the mall (Jack Bog's Blog)


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