threadbare

adjective thread·bare \ ˈthred-ˌber \

Definition of threadbare

1 a :having the nap worn off so that the thread shows :shabby
  • threadbare clothes
b :wearing threadbare clothing :very poor
  • took in threadbare relatives
  • —Russell Baker
c :barely adequate because of cheapness or shabbiness
  • a threadbare production
2 :exhausted of interest or freshness

threadbareness

noun

Examples of threadbare in a Sentence

  1. bought a threadbare couch at a garage sale

  2. a novel filled with nothing but threadbare clichés

Recent Examples of threadbare from the Web

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

First Known Use of threadbare

14th century

Synonym Discussion of threadbare

trite, hackneyed, stereotyped, threadbare mean lacking the freshness that evokes attention or interest. trite applies to a once effective phrase or idea spoiled from long familiarity.
    • "you win some, you lose some" is a trite expression
hackneyed stresses being worn out by overuse so as to become dull and meaningless.
    • all of the metaphors and images in the poem are hackneyed
stereotyped implies falling invariably into the same pattern or form.
    • views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date
threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted.
    • a mystery novel with a threadbare plot

THREADBARE Defined for English Language Learners

threadbare

adjective

Definition of threadbare for English Language Learners

  • : very thin and in bad condition from too much use

  • : not very effective, interesting, etc., because of being used too often


THREADBARE Defined for Kids

threadbare

adjective thread·bare \ ˈthred-ˌber \

Definition of threadbare for Students

1 :worn so much that the thread shows :shabby
2 :not effective because of overuse
  • a threadbare excuse


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