[ trey-kee-uh or, especially British, truh-kee-uh ]
See synonyms for trachea on
noun,plural tra·che·ae [trey-kee-ee or, especially British, truh-kee-ee], /ˈtreɪ kiˌi or, especially British, trəˈki i/, tra·che·as.
  1. 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.

  2. (in insects and other arthropods) one of the air-conveying tubes of the respiratory system.

  1. Botany. vessel (def. 5).

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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

Words Nearby trachea Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use trachea in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for trachea


/ (trəˈkiːə) /

nounplural -cheae (-ˈkiːiː)
  1. anatomy zoology the membranous tube with cartilaginous rings that conveys inhaled air from the larynx to the bronchi: Nontechnical name: windpipe

  2. any of the tubes in insects and related animals that convey air from the spiracles to the tissues

  1. botany another name for vessel (def. 5), tracheid

Origin of trachea

C16: from Medieval Latin, from Greek trakheia, shortened from (artēria) trakheia rough (artery), from trakhus rough

Derived forms of trachea

  • tracheal or tracheate, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for trachea


[ trākē-ə ]

Plural tracheae (trākē-ē′) 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.