[ trey-kee-uh or, especially British, truh-kee-uh ]
/ ˈtreɪ ki ə or, especially British, trəˈki ə /
Save This Word!

noun, plural tra·che·ae [trey-kee-ee or, especially British, truh-kee-ee], /ˈtreɪ kiˌi or, especially British, trəˈki i/, tra·che·as.
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).


Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

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
Dictionary.com 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) /

noun plural -cheae (-ˈkiːiː)
anatomy zoology the membranous tube with cartilaginous rings that conveys inhaled air from the larynx to the bronchiNontechnical 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 (def. 5), tracheid

Derived forms of trachea

tracheal or tracheate, adjective

Word Origin for trachea

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

Scientific definitions for trachea

[ trākē-ə ]

Plural tracheae (trākē-ē′) tracheas
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
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.