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

May’s authority was hanging by a thread after 30 members of her Conservative Party defied her instructions and voted late Monday for Parliament to take control of the process. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "UK government defiant as Parliament takes control of Brexit," 27 Mar. 2019 No one who works full-time hours should have a financial situation that is hanging together by a thread or a work life defined by uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "Domestic Workers Like My Mom Deserve Protection and Security," 26 Mar. 2019 Another head on the guillotine belongs to John Kelly protégé Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security chief, who was heavily rumored to get the sack this week but as of this writing is still hanging by a thread. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “The Whole Thing Is a Hoax!”," 18 Nov. 2018 Among the massive lineup of vehicles, the company had at least four obviously different models that were all connected by a common thread. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Party in the front, pain in the back: The BMW X4 reviewed," 18 Oct. 2018 Regarding visual media, impactive everyday behaviors include responding to a thread with a GIF or reaction image featuring random everyday strangers, or posting (and/or remixing) the latest meme to comment on the news of the day. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Kevin Hart tweeted himself out of a job hosting the Oscars," 8 Dec. 2018 The nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to scale back nuclear enrichment and submit to international inspections, is now hanging by a thread as Iran negotiates with other signatories to keep its benefits alive after the U.S. exit. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Iran Defends Missile Program After Pompeo Alleges Tehran Carried Out Test," 2 Dec. 2018 Some Reddit users were not excited about the color choice, according to a thread on the topic. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Clark Memorial Bridge gets a fresh coat of buttery yellow paint," 9 July 2018 Jeremy Young provided his dispute case evidence to the dispute thread for both public and Twin Galaxies scrutiny and review. Brian Crecente, chicagotribune.com, "'King of Kong' Star stripped of high scores, banned from competition," 12 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That struck just one of the notes about fashion reality beyond glamour that threaded through the evening. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Meghan Markle, Kate Moss, Richard Quinn, and More From Inside the 2018 Fashion Awards," 11 Dec. 2018 These particular milagros are shaped like arms and legs, presumably made in response to Kahlo’s problematic right leg that was later amputated, and threaded together in a large necklace over the course of 15 years. Emily Zemler, latimes.com, "The real Frida Kahlo comes alive in a London exhibit," 18 June 2018 After another ball was threaded inside the winger's left shoulder, Robert Lewandowski unleashed and James should have scored but was unable to adjust his body to the follow-up. Thomas Allnutt, chicagotribune.com, "Benzema scores twice against Bayern to send Real into Champions League final," 1 May 2018 Kerr said of the rope, which is threaded together by the plant’s fibers. Carter Karels, San Antonio Express-News, "Garcilazo, the ‘Elvis of Mexico,’ performs charro routine at San Antonio Rodeo," 15 Feb. 2018 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

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

23 May 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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