noun \ˈthred\

: a long, thin piece of cotton, silk, etc., used for sewing

: a long, thin line of something

: the raised line that winds around a screw

Full Definition of THREAD

a :  a filament, a group of filaments twisted together, or a filamentous length formed by spinning and twisting short textile fibers into a continuous strand
b :  a piece of thread
a :  any of various natural filaments <the threads of a spiderweb>
b :  a slender stream (as of water)
c :  a projecting helical rib (as in a fitting or on a pipe) by which parts can be screwed together :  screw thread
:  something continuous or drawn out: as
a :  a line of reasoning or train of thought that connects the parts in a sequence (as of ideas or events) <lost the thread of the story>
b :  a continuing element <a thread of melancholy marked all his writing>
c :  a series of newsgroup messages following a single topic
:  a tenuous or feeble support <hung on by a thread>
plural :  clothing
thread·less \-ləs\ adjective
thread·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of THREAD

  1. A thread was hanging from the hem of her coat.
  2. <the unwary bug was snared in the sticky threads of the spider's web>

Origin of THREAD

Middle English thred, from Old English thrǣd; akin to Old High German drāt wire, Old English thrāwan to cause to twist or turn — more at throw
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to THREAD

Rhymes with THREAD



: to put a thread, string, rope, etc., through a hole in something

: to put (film or tape) into a movie camera, tape recorder, etc., so that it is ready to be used

: to move forward by turning and going through narrow spaces

Full Definition of THREAD

transitive verb
a :  to pass a thread through the eye of (a needle)
b :  to arrange a thread, yarn, or lead-in piece in working position for use in (a machine)
a (1) :  to pass something through in the manner of a thread <thread a pipe with wire> (2) :  to pass (as a tape, line, or film) into or through something <threaded a fresh roll of film into the camera>
b :  to make one's way through or between <threading narrow alleys>; also :  to make one's way usually cautiously through a hazardous situation
:  to put together on or as if on a thread :  string <thread beads>
:  to interweave with or as if with threads :  intersperse <dark hair threaded with silver>
:  to form a screw thread on or in
intransitive verb
:  weave 2 <the car threaded through traffic>
:  to form a thread
thread·er noun

Examples of THREAD

  1. She threaded her shoelace through the holes.
  2. thread film through a camera
  3. They had to thread their way through the crowd.
  4. Waiters threaded through the crowd.
  5. a river that threads through narrow valleys

First Known Use of THREAD

14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tightly twisted yarn consisting of several strands that has a circular cross-section and is used in commercial and home sewing machines and for hand sewing. Thread is usually wound on spools, with thread size (degree of fineness) indicated on the spool end. Cotton thread can be used with fabrics made from yarn of plant origin, such as cotton and linen, and with rayon (made from cellulose, a plant substance). Silk thread is suitable for silks and wools, both of animal origin. Nylon and polyester threads are appropriate for synthetics and for knits with a high degree of stretch.


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