thread

noun
\ ˈthred How to pronounce thread (audio) \

Definition of thread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2a : 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
3 : something continuous or drawn out: such 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 electronic messages (as on a message board or social media website) following a single topic or in response to a single message
4 : a tenuous or feeble support hung on by a thread
5 threads plural : clothing

thread

verb
threaded; threading; threads

Definition of thread (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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)
2a(1) : to pass something through in the manner of a thread thread a pipe with wire
(2) : to pass (something, such 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
3 : to put together on or as if on a thread : string thread beads
4 : to interweave with or as if with threads : intersperse dark hair threaded with silver
5 : to form a screw thread on or in

intransitive verb

1 : weave sense 2 the car threaded through traffic
2 : to form a thread

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Other Words from thread

Noun

threadless \ ˈthred-​ləs How to pronounce threadless (audio) \ adjective
threadlike \ ˈthred-​ˌlīk How to pronounce threadlike (audio) \ adjective

Verb

threader noun

Synonyms for thread

Synonyms: Noun

bristle, fiber, filament, hair

Synonyms: Verb

interlace, intersperse, interweave, lace, salt, weave, wreathe

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Examples of thread in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

She threaded her shoelace through the holes. thread film through a camera They had to thread their way through the crowd. Waiters threaded through the crowd. a river that threads through narrow valleys
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The message aligns with the performance’s historically black college theme and the thread that has connected all of Beyoncé’s recent work. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "A First Look at Beyoncé’s Electrifying New Netflix Documentary, Homecoming," 8 Apr. 2019 Has this thread inspired you to purchase a bath tray of your own? Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Okay, So This is Definitely NOT What Bath Trays Are Meant For," 26 Mar. 2019 While little Atlantis's hair is decidedly iconic, Ariel's Twitter thread uncovered some other gems. Elizabeth Denton, Allure, "The Internet Is Obsessed With This Little Girl’s Viral Little Mermaid Braid," 25 Mar. 2019 Hybrids, BEVs, PHEVs, and even a FCEV Previous SlideNext Slide These are the vehicles that most interest us here at Ars—and many of you, too, judging by the (often unnecessarily rude) comments in some of the discussion threads. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2018 Cars Technica cars and SUVs of the year," 30 Dec. 2018 Most famously, on that platform, users imitating Elon Musk have joined threads from the Tesla CEO as a way to lure users into similar traps. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Facebook imposters are trying to swindle users out of bitcoin," 18 Dec. 2018 Somehow, still, after all of this, fans of the thread remained adamant that no wrong had been committed. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "Unidentified Plane Bae Woman's Statement Confirms the Worst," 13 July 2018 Still, pull at the threads and this picture of quiet anonymity begins to unravel. Mikael Jansson, Vogue, "14 Countries, 14 Superstars: The Global Actors Who Know No Limits," 14 Mar. 2019 The threads are a form of inclined plane or wedge, the simplest type of tool. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Censoring fake news could become a quagmire Facebook has tried to thread the needle by insisting that Jones' content is being removed for violating policies against hate speech—not policies against fake news. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Op-ed: Alex Jones is a crackpot—but banning him from Facebook might be a bad idea [Updated]," 6 Aug. 2018 The top layer also has space inside to thread recharging wires and sensors that monitor temperature, traffic flow and weight load. Fortune, "This 'Intelligent Highway' Will Charge Your Car as You Drive," 12 Apr. 2018 During a Friday workout on a practice field adjacent to Toyota Field, a thin, floppy-haired midfielder took a pass in the defensive third, made a move around a defender, then threaded a pass to a streaking teammate. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "SAFC investing in teen soccer phenom," 14 May 2018 The catwalk was dusted with glitter, a nod to Spade’s enduring shimmer, which was threaded throughout Glass’s collection. Katharine K. Zarrella, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Spade's New Creative Director Opens Up About Honoring the Late Designer's Legacy," 30 Jan. 2019 The statement, which Google has supplied similar versions of to journalists in response to questions about the project, appeared to thread a needle. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "What Google’s CEO told Congress about China — and what he didn’t," 12 Dec. 2018 Leave it to the Europeans to thread the needle between ridiculous and riveting. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Escapist Spy Thriller Deutschland 86 Breaks the Curse of the Second Season," 24 Oct. 2018 Hopefully some accommodation can be made to thread the needle between the ESRB's ratings requirements and the core audience's desire for authenticity. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Zen Studios alters classic pinball art to protect family-friendly rating [Updated]," 12 Oct. 2018 Across the country, Republican gubernatorial candidates have struggled to thread the needle on Medicaid expansion. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thread.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of thread

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for thread

Noun

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 entry 1

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Statistics for thread

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thread

The first known use of thread was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for thread

thread

noun

English Language Learners Definition of thread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, thin piece of cotton, silk, etc., used for sewing
literary : a long, thin line of something
: the raised line that winds around a screw

thread

verb

English Language Learners Definition of thread (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

thread

noun
\ ˈthred How to pronounce thread (audio) \

Kids Definition of thread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thin fine cord formed by spinning and twisting short fibers into a continuous strand
2 : a thin fine line or strand of something a thread of light
3 : the ridge or groove that winds around a screw
4 : a train of thought that connects the parts of something (as an argument or story)

Other Words from thread

threadlike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

thread

verb
threaded; threading

Kids Definition of thread (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a thread in working position (as in a needle)
2 : to pass something through another thing Thread the film through the camera.
3 : to make a way through or between He rushes on and on … threading his way with perfect skill between tree-trunks …— C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
4 : to put together on a thread : string

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More from Merriam-Webster on thread

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thread

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thread

Spanish Central: Translation of thread

Nglish: Translation of thread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thread for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about thread

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