[truh-pee-zee-uh m]

noun, plural tra·pe·zi·ums, tra·pe·zi·a [truh-pee-zee-uh] /trəˈpi zi ə/.

  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.

Nearby words

  1. trapes,
  2. trapeze,
  3. trapeze artist,
  4. trapezial,
  5. trapeziform,
  6. trapezius,
  7. trapezohedron,
  8. trapezoid,
  9. trapezoid ligament,
  10. trapezoid line

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 formstra·pe·zi·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trapezium

British Dictionary definitions for trapezium


noun plural -ziums or -zia (-zɪə)

mainly British a quadrilateral having two parallel sides of unequal lengthUsual US and Canadian name: trapezoid
mainly US and Canadian a quadrilateral having neither pair of sides parallel
a small bone of the wrist near the base of the thumb
Derived Formstrapezial, adjective

Word Origin for trapezium

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for trapezium



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

Medicine definitions for trapezium



n. pl. tra•pe•zi•ums

A quadrilateral having no parallel sides.
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.

Science definitions for trapezium



Plural trapeziums trapezia

A four-sided plane figure having no parallel sides.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.