peristalsis

noun
peri·​stal·​sis | \ˌper-ə-ˈstȯl-səs, -ˈstäl-, -ˈstal- \
plural peristalses\ˌper-​ə-​ˈstȯl-​ˌsēz, -​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

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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The first known use of peristalsis was in 1847

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More Definitions for peristalsis

peristalsis

noun
peri·​stal·​sis | \ˌper-ə-ˈstȯl-səs, -ˈstäl-, -ˈstal-\
plural peristalses\-​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 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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