One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(In sea cucumbers) either of two thin-walled, highly branched organs that draw in oxygenated sea water from the cloaca and extend into the fluid-filled body cavity.
2A branching system of respiratory passages, as the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles of the vertebrate lung.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Edward Griffith (1790–1858), naturalist. After French arbre respiratoire.
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