Help support Wordnik by adopting your favorite word!


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

  • n. 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The rhythmic contraction of the heart, by which blood is driven through the arteries.
  • n. A shortening of a naturally long vowel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The shortening of the long syllable.
  • n. The contraction of the heart and arteries by which the blood is forced onward and the circulation kept up; also, the contraction of a rhythmically pulsating contractile vacuole; -- correlative to diastole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anc. orthoëpy and prosody: Pronunciation of a vowel as short.
  • n. The shortening of a vowel or syllable, especially of one usually treated as a long; correption: opposed to diastole or ectasis.
  • n. In physiology, the contraction of the heart and arteries for propelling the blood and thus carrying on the circulation.
  • n. The contraction of the pulsatile vesicles of infusorians and other protozoans.
  • n. [capitalized] In entomology, a genus of hymenopterous insects.

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

  • n. the contraction of the chambers of the heart (especially the ventricles) to drive blood into the aorta and pulmonary artery


Greek sustolē, contraction, from sustellein, to contract; see systaltic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin, from Ancient Greek συστολή (sustolē), from συστέλλειν (sustellein, "to contract"), from σύν (sun, "together") + στέλλειν (stellein, "send"). (Wiktionary)


  • The interpretation that the P-peak belongs to the auricular systole is mainly based on his observation of electrocardiograms in cases of heart block in patients or during vagus stimulation in dogs.

    Physiology or Medicine 1924 - Presentation Speech

  • The words "systole" - usually used to refer to ventricular systole, the phase of your cardiac cycle where your ventricles, the big chambers, are contracting to eject blood - and News

  • There were all sorts of speculations about the matter, but nobody had formed this conception, and nobody understood that the so-called systole of the heart is a state of active contraction, and the so-called diastole is a mere passive dilatation.

    Lectures and Essays

  • The blood, however, does not flow out of the heart into the arteries in a continued stream, but by jets, or pulses; when the ventricles are filled with blood from the auricles, this blood stimulates them, and thereby causes them to contract; by such contraction, they force the blood, which they contain, into the arteries; this contraction is called the systole of the heart.

    Popular Lectures on Zoonomia Or The Laws of Animal Life, in Health and Disease

  • He thought that both the contractions and dilatations of the heart -- what we call the 'systole' or contraction of the heart, and the 'diastole' or dilatation -- Galen thought that these were both active movements; that the heart actively dilated, so that it had a sort of sucking power upon the fluids which had access to it.

    Lectures and Essays

  • "systole" (compare Section 44), forcing out of its body, the water, carbon dioxide, urea, and other katastases, which are formed concomitantly with its activity.

    Text Book of Biology, Part 1: Vertebrata

  • Diastole and systole, diastole and systole, not arrhythmia.

    Distracted Much? Don’t Worry, It’s A Good Thing | Lifehacker Australia

  • But he argues that the West, far from a monolithic bulwark against "diversity," is "the mongrel civilization par excellence"; the systole and diastole of contractive monoculturalism and expansive multiculturalism are its heartbeat.

    A Real-Life Renaissance Man

  • It is not nostalgia or some far-flung history; it — freedom, liberty — is present in this very moment and Hayden wishes it to be alive in our very blood and muscle: “diastole, systole,/reflex action.”

    Patrick Rosal reads Robert Hayden

  • He thought that both the contractions and dilatations of the heart — what we call the ‘systole’ or contraction of the heart, and the



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • JM wonders where the missing bits of systoles end up?

    March 24, 2011