noun \ˈtrā-kē-ə\

medical : a long tube in your neck and chest that carries air into and out of your lungs

plural tra·che·ae\-kē-ˌē, -kē-ˌī\ also tra·che·as or tra·chea

Full Definition of TRACHEA

:  the main trunk of the system of tubes by which air passes to and from the lungs in vertebrates
[New Latin, from Medieval Latin] :  vessel 3b; also :  one of its constituent cellular elements
[New Latin] :  one of the air-conveying tubules forming the respiratory system of most insects and many other arthropods
tra·che·al \-kē-əl\ adjective

Origin of TRACHEA

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Late Latin trachia, from Greek tracheia (artēria) rough (artery), from feminine of trachys rough
First Known Use: 14th century


noun \ˈtrā-kē-ə, British also trə-ˈkē-ə\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural tra·che·ae \-kē-ˌē\ also tra·che·as

Medical Definition of TRACHEA

: the main trunk of the system of tubes by which air passes to and from the lungs that is about four inches (10 centimeters) long and somewhat less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) in diameter, extends down the front of the neck from the larynx, divides in two to form the bronchi, has walls of fibrous and muscular tissue stiffened by incomplete cartilaginous rings which keep it from collapsing, and is lined with mucous membrane whose epithelium is composed of columnar ciliated mucus-secreting cells—called also windpipe

Illustration of TRACHEA


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tube in the throat and upper thoracic cavity through which air passes in respiration. It begins at the larynx and splits just above heart level into the two main bronchi, which enter the lungs. In adults it is about 6 in. (15 cm) long and 1 in. (2.5 cm) in diameter. Its structure—a membrane strengthened by 16–20 cartilage rings open in the back, with their free ends connected by muscle bands—allows the trachea to stretch and contract in breathing. An inner mucous membrane has cilia (see cilium) that project inward to trap particles. Muscle fibres over and alongside the trachea contract in response to cold air or irritants in inhaled air; in coughing, the airway narrows to about one-sixth of its normal size to increase the speed and force of exhalation and to dislodge foreign bodies. Such diseases as diphtheria, syphilis, tuberculosis, and typhoid often involve the trachea.

Variants of TRACHEA

trachea or windpipe


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