peristalsis


peri·stal·sis

noun \ˌper-ə-ˈstl-səs, -ˈstäl-, -ˈstal-\
plural peri·stal·ses\-ˌsēz\

Definition of PERISTALSIS

:  successive waves of involuntary contraction passing along the walls of a hollow muscular structure (as the esophagus or intestine) and forcing the contents onward

Origin of PERISTALSIS

New Latin, from Greek peristaltikos peristaltic
First Known Use: 1859

peri·stal·sis

noun \ˌper-ə-ˈstl-səs, -ˈstäl-, -ˈstal-\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural peri·stal·ses \-ˌsēz\

Medical Definition of PERISTALSIS

: successive waves of involuntary contraction passing along the walls of a hollow muscular structure (as the esophagus or intestine) and forcing the contents onward—compare segmentation 2

peristalsis

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Progressive wavelike muscle contractions in the esophagus, stomach, and intestines, and sometimes in the ureters and other hollow tubes. The waves can be short, local reflexes or long, continuous contractions along the length of the organ. In the esophagus, peristaltic waves push food into the stomach. In the stomach, they help mix stomach contents and propel food to the small intestine, where they expose food to the intestinal wall for absorption and move it forward. Peristalsis in the large intestine pushes waste toward the anal canal and is important in removing gas and dislodging potential bacterial colonies.

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