Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A quadrilateral having no parallel sides.
  • n. Chiefly British A trapezoid.
  • n. A bone in the wrist at the base of the thumb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A four-sided polygon with two sides parallel; a trapezoid (modern sense)
  • n. A four-sided polygon with no parallel sides and no sides equal; a simple convex irregular quadrilateral.
  • n. A bone of the carpus at the base of the first metacarpal, or thumb.
  • n. A region on the ventral side of the brain, either just back of the pons Varolii, or, as in man, covered by the posterior extension of its transverse fibers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plane figure bounded by four right lines, of which no two are parallel.
  • n.
  • n. A bone of the carpus at the base of the first metacarpal, or thumb.
  • n. A region on the ventral side of the brain, either just back of the pons Varolii, or, as in man, covered by the posterior extension of its transverse fibers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In geometry: Any quadrilateral not a parallelogram. A trapezoid.
  • n. An irregular quadrangle in the nebula of Orion, formed by its four brightest stars.
  • n. In geometry, a plane figure contained by four straight lines of which no two are parallel.
  • n. In anatomy:
  • n. A cross-band of fibers near the lower border of the pons Varolii, passing from the region of the accessory auditory nucleus to the raphe.
  • n. The bone on the radial side of the distal row of carpal bones, articulating with the metacarpal bone of the thumb; carpale I. of the typical carpus, whatever its actual shape. Also called multangulum majus. See cuts under Perissodactyla, scapholunar, and hand.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a quadrilateral with no parallel sides
  • n. the wrist bone on the thumb side of the hand that articulates with the 1st and 2nd metacarpals
  • n. a multiple star in the constellation of Orion

Etymologies

Late Latin trapezium, trapezoid, from Greek trapezion, diminutive of trapeza, table : tra-, four; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots + peza, foot; see ped- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since 1570, from Late Latin trapezium, from Ancient Greek τραπέζιον ("irregular quadrilateral", literally "a little table"), diminutive of τράπεζα ("table")", itself from τρά- ("four") + πέζα ("foot, edge"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Rosse himself writing to Professor Nichol, in 1846, "I may safely say there can be little, if any, doubt as to the resolvability of the nebula; -- all about the trapezium is a mass of stars, the rest of the nebula also abounding with stars, and exhibiting the characteristics of resolvability strongly marked."

    Half-hours with the Telescope Being a Popular Guide to the Use of the Telescope as a Means of Amusement and Instruction.

  • Orionis, also called the trapezium of Orion) is in itself the most striking multiple star in the whole heavens.

    The Story of the Heavens

  • But for better or worse, they thrived down here, especially in what is known as Cajun country, the geocultural trapezium whose points are New Orleans, Houma, Cameron, and Lafayette.

    Into the Story

  • I just borrowed it to refer to the shape of the basins in section -- cones with their apices cut off or a 3-sides-equal trapezium, exactly similar to the ones you see in the diagrams above, though it would be serrated because of the stairs.

    Tele-Hydrology

  • It was the size of — and as oddly shaped a trapezium as — a bad West Village studio.

    Fire Island, This Time

  • The remainder of the trapezium formed the garden, which was much lower than the level of the Rue Polonceau, which caused the walls to be very much higher on the inside than on the outside.

    Les Miserables

  • In this manner they crossed the inner trapezium of the barricade.

    Les Miserables

  • It was in this sort of fold in the interior trapezium of the barricade, that Eponine had breathed her last.

    Les Miserables

  • These four streets surrounded this trapezium like a moat.

    Les Miserables

  • The convent of the Petit – Picpus-Sainte – Antoine filled almost the whole of the vast trapezium which resulted from the intersection of the Rue

    Les Miserables

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