tra·​chea | \ˈtrā-kē-ə \
plural tracheae\ˈtrā-​kē-​ˌē, -​kē-​ˌī \ also tracheas or trachea

Definition of trachea 

1 : the main trunk of the system of tubes by which air passes to and from the lungs in vertebrates

2 [ New Latin, from Medieval Latin ] : vessel sense 3b also : one of its constituent cellular elements

3 [ New Latin ] : one of the air-conveying tubules forming the respiratory system of most insects and many other arthropods

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Other Words from trachea

tracheal \ˈtrā-​kē-​əl \ adjective

Examples of trachea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Replacing a failing windpipe, or trachea, with one partially made from a patient's own stem cells once looked like the cutting edge of regenerative medicine. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "Two controversial stem cell trials could harm patients, critics say," 29 Mar. 2018 These symptoms happen due to swelling that occurs around the larynx (the vocal cords), trachea (windpipe), and bronchi (bronchial tubes). Korin Miller, SELF, "HGTV's Tarek and Christina El Moussa's Son Was Hospitalized for Croup," 16 Oct. 2018 An autopsy report shows Sebastien weighed 1 pound 13 ounces and had injuries that included a punctured trachea. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, "A nursery. A loss. And a shared grief for black women in Washington.," 15 June 2018 The 2011 Lancet paper, about the first artificial trachea implant, claimed the recipient had no complications 5 months after the surgery. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "Macchiarini guilty of misconduct, but whistleblowers share blame, new Karolinska Institute verdict finds," 26 June 2018 With gashes in her jugular vein and trachea bleeding profusely, Kidik showed Jacqueline Marciano, the building’s assistant property manager, how to apply pressure to her wounds to stanch the flowing blood. Alison Kuznitz,, "'I Had Her Life In My Hands': Spectra Employees Recall Aiding Hartford Officer After Stabbing," 23 June 2018 Macchiarini was once heralded as a pioneer of regenerative medicine because of his experimental transplants of artificial tracheas that supposedly developed into functional organs when seeded with a patient’s stem cells. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "Disgraced surgeon is still publishing on stem cell therapies," 27 Apr. 2018 Seven died, and the other two had to have the artificial tracheas replaced by conventional transplants. Christopher Hartnick, STAT, "Taking risks in pursuit of innovation is good. So is preparing for it," 7 June 2018 In the studies, a larynx or trachea would be taken from a donor and all its cells removed using detergents and enzymes. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "Two controversial stem cell trials could harm patients, critics say," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trachea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of trachea

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for trachea

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Late Latin trachia, from Greek tracheia (artēria) rough (artery), from feminine of trachys rough

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Statistics for trachea

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for trachea

The first known use of trachea was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of trachea

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


tra·​chea | \ˈtrā-kē-ə \
plural tracheae\-​kē-​ˌē \

Kids Definition of trachea

1 : a stiff-walled tube of the respiratory system that connects the pharynx with the lungs

2 : a breathing tube of an insect that connects with the outside of the body and carries oxygen directly to the cells


tra·​chea | \ˈtrā-kē-ə, British also trə-ˈkē-ə\
plural tracheae\-​kē-​ˌē \ also tracheas

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on trachea

Spanish Central: Translation of trachea

Nglish: Translation of trachea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trachea for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trachea

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