thread

noun
\ ˈthred \

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 \ adjective
threadlike \ ˈthred-​ˌlīk \ 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

Two gray checkmarks mean it's been delivered to everyone in the thread. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "Everything You Need to Know About WhatsApp," 9 Nov. 2018 People commenting on Krivohlavek's thread noted how unique the whole experience was. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "A Rare Whale Shark Was Spotted Off the Coast of Charleston," 7 Nov. 2018 In one of the cutest decisions of a long list of cute things Harry and Meghan did to make their wedding special, the page boys' coats had their initials embroidered on them in gold thread—a detail that was apparently Harry's idea. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Special Details You Probably Missed on Prince George and Princess Charlotte's Royal Wedding Outfits," 27 Oct. 2018 For Rei Kawakubo, another Japanese designer, traditional kimono fabric techniques like dyeing and stenciling are sources of inspiration—particularly shibori, a tie-dye method in which small sections of cloth are wrapped in thread. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Kimonos Meet Couture," 12 Oct. 2018 Todd Ringle tweeted about the new rules Tuesday and explained to drivers in a thread that while these colors were already required by law, the new legislation features updated language and eliminates possible loopholes. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Make sure your headlights comply with this new Indiana law, starting July 1," 13 June 2018 Update: On Monday night Ted Cruz addressed criticism of his reluctance to take a stand on the presidential pardon issue in a Twitter thread. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Ted Cruz forgets his own words on limits of presidential pardons.," 5 June 2018 The Snapchat conversation was shared in Amsden's Twitter thread. Richard Obert, azcentral, "AIA bans 31-year-old twins from high school sports events after messages to teens," 3 May 2018 If the book skews intimate (snapshots of her mother's own home deliveries weave in a rare thread of autobiography), Winant's debut installation at the Museum of Modern Art is monumental. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Artist Carmen Winant on Why 2,000 Images of Childbirth Belong at the MoMA," 19 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Complete the underwater illusion by threading some fishing line through a vinyl goldfish and using it to suspend him. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Get the Whole Family Crafting With These Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments," 6 Dec. 2018 While attending the New York Film Festival premiere of The Favourite on Friday, September 28, Emma stepped out with what seems like a full bouquet of fresh roses threaded throughout her hair. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Emma Stone Attends "The Favourite" Premiere With Fresh Roses in Her Hair," 29 Sep. 2018 That space is threaded by roads, asphalt lifelines of the population. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "How Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered roads in just days," 8 Dec. 2018 So at the minimum, combine a trigger lock with a cable to keep your firearm anchored somewhere, or use a cable lock on it's own by threading it through the chamber to prevent the firearm from being used. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Choose the Best Gun Storage," 8 Aug. 2018 Under this model, trees are threaded through crops, helping shade cocoa plants while also doing less harm to biodiversity and keeping the soil fertile for longer. Tim Cocks And Ange Aboa, The Christian Science Monitor, "Ivory Coast, chocolate giants team up to make cocoa production more sustainable," 19 Apr. 2018 Here, six hair and makeup trends bound to thread through the remaining weeks of Fashion Month. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "The 6 Beauty Trends That Stole Our Hearts at New York Fashion Week," 13 Sep. 2018 Cockrell’s roots are threaded through North Carolina. Scott Fowler, charlotteobserver, "Be part of hometown NFL team? Panthers' Ross Cockrell, high school teammate both have," 30 May 2018 The Walking Dead has always done a decent job of threading the needle and staying true to its source, while also making the show feel fresh and unique — at least up until Negan’s introduction. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s fresh start looks like a big step back," 12 Nov. 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

17 Jan 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

: 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 \

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

Comments on thread

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