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[trey-kee-uh or, esp. British, truh-kee-uh] /ˈtreɪ ki ə or, esp. British, trəˈki ə/
noun, plural tracheae
[trey-kee-ee or, esp. British, truh-kee-ee] /ˈtreɪ kiˌi or, esp. British, trəˈki i/ (Show IPA),
Anatomy, Zoology. the tube in humans and other air-breathing vertebrates extending from the larynx to the bronchi, serving as the principal passage for conveying air to and from the lungs; the windpipe.
(in insects and other arthropods) one of the air-conveying tubes of the respiratory system.
Botany. vessel (def 5).
Origin of trachea
1350-1400; Middle English trache < Medieval Latin trāchēa, for Late Latin trāchīa < Greek trācheîa, short for artēría trācheîa rough artery, i.e., windpipe Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for tracheae


noun (pl) -cheae (-ˈkiːiː)
(anatomy, zoology) the membranous tube with cartilaginous rings that conveys inhaled air from the larynx to the bronchi Nontechnical name windpipe
any of the tubes in insects and related animals that convey air from the spiracles to the tissues
(botany) another name for vessel (sense 5), tracheid
Derived Forms
tracheal, tracheate, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin, from Greek trakheia, shortened from (artēria) trakheia rough (artery), from trakhus rough
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tracheae



c.1400, from Medieval Latin trachea (mid-13c.), as in trachea arteria, from Late Latin trachia (c.400), from Greek trakheia, in trakheia arteria "windpipe," literally "rough artery" (so called from the rings of cartilage that form the trachea), from fem. of trakhys "rough." See artery for connection with windpipe in Greek science.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tracheae in Medicine

trachea tra·che·a (trā'kē-ə)
n. pl. tra·che·as or tra·che·ae (-kē-ē')
The airway that extends from the larynx into the thorax where it divides into the right and left bronchi. It is composed of thin incomplete rings of hyaline cartilage connected by a membrane called the annular ligament. Also called windpipe.

tra'che·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tracheae in Science
Plural tracheae (trā'kē-ē') or tracheas
  1. The tube in vertebrate animals that leads from the larynx to the bronchial tubes and carries air to the lungs. In mammals the trachea is strengthened by rings of cartilage. Also called windpipe.

  2. Any of the tiny tubes originating from the spiracles of many terrestrial arthropods and forming a branching network that brings air directly to body cells.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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tracheae in Culture
trachea [(tray-kee-uh)]

The tube connecting the mouth to the bronchial tubes that carries air to the lungs; the windpipe.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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