Dictionary

threadbare

adjective thread·bare \ˈthred-ˌber\

: very thin and in bad condition from too much use

: not very effective, interesting, etc., because of being used too often

Full Definition of THREADBARE

1
a :  having the nap worn off so that the thread shows :  shabby <threadbare clothes>
b :  wearing threadbare clothing :  very poor <took in threadbare relatives — Russell Baker>
c :  barely adequate because of cheapness or shabbiness <a threadbare production>
2
:  exhausted of interest or freshness
thread·bare·ness noun

Examples of THREADBARE

  1. <bought a threadbare couch at a garage sale>
  2. <a novel filled with nothing but threadbare clichés>

First Known Use of THREADBARE

14th century

Synonym Discussion of THREADBARE

trite, hackneyed, stereotyped, threadbare mean lacking the freshness that evokes attention or interest. trite applies to a once effective phrase or idea spoiled from long familiarity <“you win some, you lose some” is a trite expression>. hackneyed stresses being worn out by overuse so as to become dull and meaningless <all of the metaphors and images in the poem are hackneyed>. stereotyped implies falling invariably into the same pattern or form <views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date>. threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted <a mystery novel with a threadbare plot>.
THREADBARE Defined for Kids

threadbare

adjective thread·bare \ˈthred-ˌber\

Definition of THREADBARE for Kids

1
:  worn so much that the thread shows :  shabby
2
:  not effective because of overuse <a threadbare excuse>

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