tra·che·a / ˈtrākēə/ • n. (pl. -che·ae / -kēˌē/ or -che·as) Anat. a large membranous tube reinforced by rings of cartilage, extending from the larynx to the bronchial tubes and conveying air to and from the lungs; the windpipe. ∎ Entomol. each of a number of fine chitinous tubes in the body of an insect, conveying air directly to the tissues. ∎ Bot. any duct or vessel in a plant, providing support and conveying water and salts.DERIVATIVES: tra·che·al adj.tra·che·ate / -it; -ˌāt/ adj.
1. (or windpipe) The tube in air-breathing vertebrates that conducts air from the throat to the bronchi. It is strengthened with incomplete rings of cartilage.
2. An air channel in insects and most other terrestrial arthropods. Tracheae occur as ingrowths of the body wall. They open to the exterior by spiracles and branch into finer channels (tracheoles) that terminate in the tissues (see also air sac). Pumping movements of the abdominal muscles cause air to be drawn into and out of the tracheae.
1. One of the cuticular tubes that make up the respiratory system of an insect. The tracheae ramify throughout the body, terminating in fine, intracellular branches (tracheoles). See SPIRACLE.
2. In air-breathing vertebrates, the ‘windpipe’, leading from the throat and dividing into two bronchii, which enter the lungs.