late 14c., from Medieval Latin trachea (13c.), as in trachea arteria, from Late Latin trachia, from Greek trakheia, in trakheia arteria "windpipe," literally "rough artery" (so called from the rings of cartilage that form the trachea), from fem. of trakhys "rough," from PIE *dhre-gh-, suffixed form of root *dher- (1). See artery for connection with windpipe in Greek science. Related: Tracheal.