|a printed punctuation mark (‽), available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection, as after a rhetorical question.|
|a calculus or concretion found in the stomach or intestines of certain animals, esp. ruminants, formerly reputed to be an effective remedy for poison.|
|—n , pl -ses|
|physiol the succession of waves of involuntary muscular contraction of various bodily tubes, esp of the alimentary tract, where it effects transport of food and waste products|
|[C19: from New Latin, from |
peristalsis per·i·stal·sis (pěr'ĭ-stôl'sĭs, -stāl'-)
n. pl. per·i·stal·ses (-sēz)
The wavelike muscular contractions of the intestine or other tubular structure that propel the contents onward by alternate contraction and relaxation. Also called vermicular movement.
|peristalsis (pěr'ĭ-stôl'sĭs) Pronunciation Key
The wavelike muscular contractions in tubular structures, especially organs of the digestive system such as the esophagus and the intestines. Peristalsis is characterized by alternate contraction and relaxation, which pushes ingested food through the digestive tract towards its release at the anus. Worms propel themselves through peristaltic movement.
The wavelike, involuntary muscular contractions that move food through the digestive system.