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[truh-pee-zee-uh m] /trəˈpi zi əm/
noun, plural trapeziums, trapezia
[truh-pee-zee-uh] /trəˈpi zi ə/ (Show IPA)
  1. (in Euclidean geometry) any rectilinear quadrilateral plane figure not a parallelogram.
  2. a quadrilateral plane figure of which no two sides are parallel.
  3. British. trapezoid (def 1a).
Anatomy. a bone in the wrist that articulates with the metacarpal bone of the thumb.
Origin of trapezium
1545-55; < New Latin < Greek trapézion kind of quadrilateral, literally, small table, equivalent to trápez(a) table (shortening of *tetrapeza object having four feet, equivalent to tetra- four + péza foot, akin to poús, podós; see tetra-, foot) + -ion diminutive suffix
Related forms
trapezial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for trapezia


noun (pl) -ziums, -zia (-zɪə)
(mainly Brit) a quadrilateral having two parallel sides of unequal length Usual US and Canadian name trapezoid
(mainly US & Canadian) a quadrilateral having neither pair of sides parallel
a small bone of the wrist near the base of the thumb
Derived Forms
trapezial, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Late Latin from Greek trapezion, from trapeza table
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for trapezia



1560s, from Late Latin trapezium, from Greek trapezion "irregular quadrilateral," literally "a little table," diminutive of trapeza "table," from tra- "four" (see four) + peza "foot, edge," related to pous (see foot (n.)). Before 1540s, Latin editions of Euclid used the Arabic word helmariphe. As the name of a bone in the wrist, it is recorded from 1840.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trapezia in Medicine

trapezium tra·pe·zi·um (trə-pē'zē-əm)
n. pl. tra·pe·zi·ums or tra·pe·zi·a (-zē-ə)

  1. A quadrilateral having no parallel sides.

  2. A bone in the wrist at the base of the thumb, articulating with the first and second metacarpal, scaphoid, and trapezoid bones.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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trapezia in Science
Plural trapeziums or trapezia
A four-sided plane figure having no parallel sides.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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