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[sis-tuh-lee, -lee] /ˈsɪs təˌli, -li/
Physiology. the normal rhythmical contraction of the heart, during which the blood in the chambers is forced onward.
Compare diastole.
Classical Prosody. the shortening of a syllable regularly long.
1570-80; < Greek systolḗ a drawing up, contraction, equivalent to sy- sy- + stolḗ pressure, orig., garment, equipment, equivalent to stol- (noun derivative of stéllein to send, place) + feminine noun suffix; cf. diastole, systaltic
Related forms
presystole, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for systole


contraction of the heart, during which blood is pumped into the aorta and the arteries that lead to the lungs Compare diastole
Derived Forms
systolic (sɪˈstɒlɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Late Latin from Greek sustolē, from sustellein to contract; see systaltic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for systole

"periodic contraction of the heart and arteries," 1570s, from Greek systole "contraction," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + stem related to stellein "to bring together, draw in; to put" (see diastole).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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systole in Medicine

systole sys·to·le (sĭs'tə-lē)
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. Also called miocardia.

sys·tol'ic (sĭ-stŏl'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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systole in Science
The period during the normal beating of the heart in which the chambers of the heart, especially the ventricles, contract to force blood into the aorta and pulmonary artery. Compare diastole.

systolic adjective (sĭ-stŏl'ĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for systole

period of contraction of the ventricles of the heart that occurs between the first and second heart sounds. Systole causes the ejection of blood into the aorta and pulmonary trunk. Lasting usually 0.3 to 0.4 second, ventricular systole is introduced by a very brief period of contraction, followed by the ejection phase, during which 80 to 100 cubic centimetres of blood leave each ventricle. During systole, arterial blood pressure reaches its peak (systolic blood pressure), normally about 120 millimetres of mercury in human beings; this is slightly lower than the ventricular pressure because of the distensibility of the vessel walls. Atrial systole occurs toward the end of ventricular diastole, completing the filling of the ventricles. "Systole" may also refer to the contraction stage of the contractile vacuole in protozoans. Compare diastole. See also blood pressure.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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