One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine or another canal, creating wave-like movements which push the contents of the canal forward.
- ‘Waves of muscle contractions called peristalsis force food down through the esophagus to the stomach.’
- ‘The pumps operate on the theory of peristalsis as is commonly seen in the human digestive system.’
- ‘Yoga helps your body reabsorb and expel gas by stimulating peristalsis, the muscle contractions that eliminate waste.’
- ‘Capsule endoscopy uses a wireless video capsule that is swallowed by the patient and propelled by peristalsis.’
- ‘The initial colonization of the walls of the ureter is in areas of turbulent flow which leads to paralysis of peristalsis.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek peristallein ‘wrap around’, from peri- ‘around’ + stallein ‘to place’.
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