(Greek: around, enclosing, surrounding, about, near, close; often used as a prefix)

perissodactyl, perissodactylic
1. Having an uneven number of toes or digits on each foot.
2. Any mammal of the order Perissodactyla, comprising the odd-toed hoofed quadrupeds and including the tapirs, rhinoceroses, and horses.
An order of nonruminant ungulate mammals; such as, the horse (with one toe), the tapir, or the rhinoceros (with three toes), that usually have an odd number of toes, molar teeth with transverse ridges on the grinding surface, and posterior premolars resembling true molars.

The middle digit bears the weight of the body. These herbivorous mammals typically have feet encased in a protective horny hoof, lips adapted for plucking, strong cropping incisor teeth, and molars and premolars adapted for chewing.

The stomach is simple and bacterial digestion of cellulose occurs in the cecum, a blind pouch at the junction of the ileum and the colon.

Such herbivores rely on the activity of millions of symbiotic bacteria living in the cecum. These produce enzymes capable of digesting cellulose and releasing simple soluble substances that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

The condition of being perissodactyl or having an uneven number of toes or digits on each foot
1. Having an odd number of digits on a hand or foot.
2. A reference to the Perissodactyla (a division of ungulate, or hoofed, mammals, including those that have an odd number of toes, as the horse, tapir, and rhinoceros).
perissology (s) (noun), perissologies (pl)
1. The use of more words than are necessary to give meaning or understanding about what is being said; pleonasm: When Greg's mother asked the plumber what went wrong with the water not coming out from the faucets, his perissology confused her so much that she had no idea what he was talking about.
2. Etymology: from Greek, perissologos and from Latin perissologia, "speaking too much".
Verbosity of talking.
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perissoped (s) (noun), perissopeds (pl)
A gifted or talented child: Dr. Thompson told Jill's parents that she was a perissoped, or an exceptionally brilliant girl.
Perissopus dentatus
A parasitic copepod which can be found on the body surface or trailing edges of shark fins.
Having a redundant syllable or syllables.
peristalsis (s) (noun), peristalses (pl)
1. The rippling motion of muscles in the digestive tract: In the stomach, this peristalsis or movement mixes food with gastric juices, turning them into a thin liquid.
2. The activity by which the alimentary canal and other tubular organs, that have both longitudinal and circular muscle fibers, propel their contents: The peristalsis consists of a wave of contractions passing along the tube for variable distances.
3. The wormlike motions by which the stomach and the bowels propel or send their contents: Peristalses consist of alternate waves of relaxations and contractions in successive parts of the intestinal tube and any obstructions to the flow of the contents will cause these contractions to become stronger and are often accompanied by a severe form of pain known as "colic" or an attack of spasmodic pain in the abdomen.

Food and digestion products are pushed through the intestine from the throat to the rectum, by peristalsis or the surging of muscular contractions of the intestinal wall.

4. Etymology: from Greek peri, "around" + stalsis, "contraction".
peristaltic (adjective), more peristaltic, most peristaltic
A reference 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: The wavelike contractions of the muscular fibers that provide fluxing in certain bodily areas are called peristaltic movements.

The billowing peristaltic contractions of the alimentary canal, or any other tubular structures, result in the contents of such areas being forced onward toward a bodily opening.

Peristaltic movements are initiated by circular smooth muscles contracting behind the chewed food and drinking of liquids to prevent them from moving back into the mouth, which is then followed by a contraction of longitudinal smooth muscles which push the digested food onward.

Intestinal movements are not always the same.

When food is in the small intestine, the muscles that encircle the tube constrict about seven to twelve times a minute, segmenting the tube so it is similar to a series of sausages. These rapid contractions move the food back and forth, churning it, kneading or pressing it, and mixing it with the digestive juices.

Besides these mixing movements, the small intestine also makes propulsive, or peristaltic, movements: waves that move food through the system. In this part of the gastrointestinal tract, peristaltic movements are usually weak and infrequent.

These activities ensure that food will stay in one place long enough to be absorbed. Only when toxic substances enter the small intestine are the propulsive movements strong and quick, in order to expel the poisons as fast as possible.

—Compiled from information that was provided by
The ABC's of the Human Body, Editor, Alma E. Guinness;
The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.; Pleasantville, New York; 1987; page 249.
peristaltically (adverb), more peristaltically, most peristaltically
A reference to the process of involuntary wavelike successive muscular contractions by which food is moved through the digestive tract: The large, hollow organs of the digestive system contain muscles that enable their walls to move and the movement of these organ walls propel food and liquids and also peristaltically mix the contents within each organ.

In the stomach, the motions peristaltically blend food with gastric juices which turns them into a thin liquid.

peristaphyline (adjective) (not comparable)
About or around the uvula: Jane's doctor, Dr. Hathaway, said that the peristaphyline area at the back of her throat was a bit red and all she needed to do was to gargle the liquid substance he gave her.
peristaphylitis (s) (noun), peristaphylitises (pl)
1. Inflammation around the uvula: Dr. Thompson described Tim's sore throat as being a case of peristaphylitis.

The uvula is a small piece of soft tissue that can be seen dangling down from the soft palate over the back of the tongue. The uvula is described variously as being shaped like a U, a tear, or a grape.
2. Etymology: from the Latin word for "grape," uva.

Related "around, round, surrounding" units: ambi-; ampho-; circ-; circum-; cyclo-, -cycle; gyro-.