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[trap-uh-zoid] /ˈtræp əˌzɔɪd/
  1. a quadrilateral plane figure having two parallel and two nonparallel sides.
  2. British. trapezium (def 1b).
Anatomy. a bone in the wrist that articulates with the metacarpal bone of the forefinger.
Also, trapezoidal. Geometry. of, relating to, or having the form of a trapezoid.
Origin of trapezoid
1695-1705; < New Latin trapezoīdēs < Late Greek trapezoeidḗs trapeziumlike. See trapezium, -oid
Related forms
posttrapezoid, adjective
subtrapezoid, adjective
subtrapezoidal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for trapezoidal


a quadrilateral having neither pair of sides parallel
(US & Canadian) Also called (Brit, Austral., NZ, and South African) trapezium. a quadrilateral having two parallel sides of unequal length
a small bone of the wrist near the base of the index finger
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin trapezoidēs, from Late Greek trapezoeidēs trapezium-shaped, from trapeza table
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 trapezoidal



1706, "a trapezium," from Modern Latin trapezoides, from Late Greek trapezoeides (Proclus), special use by Euclid of Greek trapezoeides "trapezium-shaped," from trapeza, literally "table" (see trapezium), + -oeides "shaped" (see -oid). Technically, a quadrilateral figure with no two sides parallel. But in English since c.1800, often confused with trapezium in its sense of "a quadrilateral figure having only two sides parallel."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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trapezoidal in Medicine

trapezoid trap·e·zoid (trāp'ĭ-zoid')

  1. A quadrilateral having two parallel sides.

  2. A small bone in the wrist situated near the base of the index finger and articulating with the second metacarpal, trapezium, capitate, and scaphoid bones.

trap'e·zoid' or trap'e·zoi'dal (-zoid'l) 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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trapezoidal in Science
A four-sided plane figure having two parallel sides.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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trapezoidal in Culture
trapezoid [(trap-uh-zoyd)]

A four-sided polygon in which two sides are parallel and two are not.

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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