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
New Latin, from Greek peristaltikos, peristaltic, from peristellein, to wrap around : peri-, peri- + stellein, to place; see stel- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)