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

The entire family was holding onto a thin thread of hope that Wimunc would be found alive. CBS News, "Did a missing Army nurse fall prey to a serial killer targeting military women?," 26 June 2018 The Ryzen 7s and Ryzen 5s all feature symmetrical multi-threading (SMT) to double execution threads to eight. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD announces new mobile Ryzen chips and finally gets into Chromebooks," 6 Jan. 2019 Despite passionate communities of users (as seen in place like Ars comment threads), Windows and macOS dominate the desktop and that's unlikely to change in the near term. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream," 28 Dec. 2018 Even tonight, every person who's covering this is getting text after email after text, alleging new things, new threads. Fox News, "High school friend of Kavanaugh reacts to new allegation; Alan Dershowitz on Kavanaugh chaos," 28 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

14 Feb 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 \

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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