peristalsis

noun
peri·​stal·​sis | \ ˌper-ə-ˈstȯl-səs How to pronounce peristalsis (audio) , -ˈstäl-, -ˈstal- How to pronounce peristalsis (audio) \
plural peristalses\ ˌper-​ə-​ˈstȯl-​ˌsēz How to pronounce peristalses (audio) , -​ˈstäl-​ , -​ˈstal-​ \

Definition of peristalsis

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

Examples of peristalsis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The top squeezes, then the middle, then the bottom (this process is technically known as peristalsis), and this helps propel food through the organ. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, "What Is Corkscrew Esophagus? Here’s What a Gastroenterologist Says," 29 Apr. 2020 The nervous-immune connection is intriguing in light of recent research suggesting that chemical cross talk between gut macrophages and nerve fibers can control peristalsis, the process that moves food through the digestive tract. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "Could Newly Found “Peacekeeping” Cells Be a Weapon against COVID-19?," 27 Mar. 2020 Fat innkeepers then use peristalsis to fill their burrows with water so that the mucous can trap the critters, like plankton, and bacteria that the water brings with it. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "This Weird Sea Creature Looks So Familiar, But We Can't Quite Place It," 13 Dec. 2019 This routine trains a competitive eater’s body to stop gastric peristalsis when gorging on food. Currie Engel, Time, "Joey Chestnut Claims 12th Title at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest," 4 July 2019 This motion mimics how our intestines and esophagus move food around our body — a process known as peristalsis. James Vincent, The Verge, "This puking robot has a purpose: making rocket fuel safely," 30 Mar. 2018 But peristalsis instead of these rotational forces is gentler, and would allow fuel to be manufactured in one slow, continuous process, rather than in batches. James Vincent, The Verge, "This puking robot has a purpose: making rocket fuel safely," 30 Mar. 2018 In order for your body to propel food through your digestive system, the muscles in your stomach and intestines are constantly contracting to push your food downward in a process called peristalsis . Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "The Scientific Reason Behind Every Weird Sound Your Body Makes," 26 Oct. 2017 As in other animals’ digestive systems, food is moved around this eight- (or ten- or 12-) lobed gut by peristalsis, a wavelike motion of the gut walls. The Economist, "Sea spidersHow does an animal with no heart circulate oxygen?," 13 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peristalsis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of peristalsis

1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for peristalsis

New Latin, from Greek peristaltikos peristaltic

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Time Traveler for peristalsis

Time Traveler

The first known use of peristalsis was in 1847

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Cite this Entry

“Peristalsis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peristalsis. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for peristalsis

peristalsis

noun
peri·​stal·​sis | \ ˌper-ə-ˈstȯl-səs How to pronounce peristalsis (audio) , -ˈstäl- How to pronounce peristalsis (audio) , -ˈstal- \
plural peristalses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce peristalses (audio) \

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 sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on peristalsis

Britannica English: Translation of peristalsis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about peristalsis

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