\pˌɛɹɪstˈə͡ʊl], \pˌɛɹɪstˈəʊl], \p_ˌɛ_ɹ_ɪ_s_t_ˈəʊ_l]\
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By Oddity Software
By Noah Webster.
It consists of a kind of undulation or vermicular movement, in appearance irregular, but in which the circular fibres of the muscular membrane of the intestine contract successively, from above downwards, in proportion as the chyme advances in the alimentary canal; so that, being compressed above, it is pushed into the next portion of the intestine, whose fibres are in a state of relaxation. When the fibres contract inversely, they occasion an antiperistaltic action. The peristaltic action is involuntary, and is not under the immediate influence of either brain or spinal marrow. It continues for some time after death.
By Robley Dunglison