per·i·stal·sis (pĕr′ĭ-stôlsĭs, -stăl-)
n. pl. per·i·stal·ses (-sēz)
The wavelike muscular contractions of the digestive tract or other tubular structures by which contents are forced onward toward the opening.
[New Latin, from Greek peristaltikos, peristaltic, from peristellein, to wrap around : peri-, peri- + stellein, to place; see stel- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
per′i·staltic (-stôltĭk, -stăl-) adj.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.