tri·​chi·​na | \ tri-ˈkī-nə How to pronounce trichina (audio) \
plural trichinae\ tri-​ˈkī-​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce trichina (audio) \ also trichinas

Definition of trichina

: a small slender nematode worm (Trichinella spiralis) that is a parasite of flesh-eating mammals (such as humans and swine) with larvae that migrate from the intestines to striated muscles where they become encysted

Other Words from trichina

trichinal \ tri-​ˈkī-​nᵊl How to pronounce trichina (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of trichina

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trichina

New Latin, from Greek trichinos made of hair, from trich-, thrix hair

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trichina

Time Traveler for trichina

Time Traveler

The first known use of trichina was in 1835

See more words from the same year

Statistics for trichina

Cite this Entry

“Trichina.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trichina


tri·​chi·​na | \ tri-ˈkī-nə How to pronounce trichina (audio) \
plural trichinae\ -​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce trichina (audio) \ also trichinas

Medical Definition of trichina

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small slender nematode worm of the genus Trichinella (T. spiralis) that as an adult is a short-lived parasite of the intestines of a flesh-eating mammal (as a human being, rat, or pig) where it produces immense numbers of larvae which migrate to the striated muscles either directly or through the blood, establish themselves in or between the muscle fibers where they become encysted and may persist for years, and if consumed by a new host in raw or insufficiently cooked meat are liberated by the digestive processes and rapidly become adult to initiate a new parasitic cycle — see trichinosis



Medical Definition of Trichina (Entry 2 of 2)

taxonomic synonym of trichinella

More from Merriam-Webster on trichina Encyclopedia article about trichina

Comments on trichina

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

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


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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