Per`i*stal"tic (?), a. [Gr. clasping and compressing, fr. to surround, wrap up; round + to place, arrange: cf. F. p'eristaltique.] Physiol.
Applied to the peculiar wormlike wave motion of the intestines and other similar structures, produced by the successive contraction of the muscular fibers of their walls, forcing their contents onwards; as, peristaltic movement.
© Webster 1913.