trachea

noun tra·chea \ ˈtrā-kē-ə \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of trachea

plural tracheae play \-kē-ˌē, -kē-ˌī\ also tracheas or 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 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

tracheal

play \-kē-əl\ adjective

Recent Examples of trachea from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of trachea

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


TRACHEA Defined for English Language Learners

trachea

noun

Definition of trachea for English Language Learners

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


TRACHEA Defined for Kids

trachea

noun tra·chea \ ˈtrā-kē-ə \

Definition of trachea for Students

plural tracheae \-kē-ˌē\
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

Medical Dictionary

trachea

noun tra·chea \ ˈtrā-kē-ə, British also trə-ˈkē-ə \

medical Definition of trachea

plural tracheae play \-kē-ˌē\ also tracheas
: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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up trachea? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!