<physiology> Applied to the peculiar wormlike wave motion of the intestines and other similar structures, produced by the successive contraction of the muscular fibres of their walls, forcing their contents onwards; as, peristaltic movement. Peristal"tically.

Origin: Gr. Clasping and compressing, fr. To surround, wrap up; round + to place, arrange: cf. F. Peristaltique.

(01 Mar 1998)