tread

verb
\ ˈtred How to pronounce tread (audio) \
trod\ ˈträd How to pronounce trod (audio) \ also treaded; trodden\ ˈträ-​dᵊn How to pronounce trodden (audio) \ or trod; treading

Definition of tread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to step or walk on or over
b : to walk or proceed along : follow treading a fine line between tradition and innovation
2a : to form by treading : beat tread a path
b : to execute by stepping or dancing tread a measure
3a : to beat or press with the feet : trample
b : to subdue or repress as if by trampling : crush
4 : to copulate with used of a male bird

intransitive verb

1 : to move or proceed on or as if on foot must tread lightly
2a : to set foot has gone where others fear to tread
b : to put one's foot : step carelessly treading on the flowers
3 : copulate
tread on one's toes
: to give offense (as by encroaching on one's rights or feelings)
tread water
: to keep the body nearly upright in the water and the head above water by a treading motion of the feet usually aided by the hands

tread

noun

Definition of tread (Entry 2 of 2)

1a(1) : the part of a wheel or tire that makes contact with a road or rail
(2) : the pattern of ridges or grooves made or cut in the face of a tire
b : the part of a shoe or boot sole that touches the ground also : the pattern on the bottom of a sole
2a : the upper horizontal part of a step
b : the width of such a tread
3a : manner of stepping
b : the sound of treading
c(1) : the action of treading
(2) : an act or instance of treading : step
4 : a mark (something, such as a footprint or the imprint of a tire) made by or as if by treading
5 : the distance between the points of contact with the ground of the two front wheels or the two rear wheels of a vehicle

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Other Words from tread

Verb

treader noun

Noun

treadless \ ˈtred-​ləs How to pronounce treadless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tread in a Sentence

Verb

They slowly trod back to the camp. Don't tread on the grass. treading the halls of the Senate Countless footsteps have trodden a path to their door.

Noun

The treads of the tires were badly worn. running shoes with good treads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Advertisers will have to tread carefully in scenarios the watchdog cites as problematic. Rob Picheta And Tara John, CNN, "Ads showing bad female drivers and inept dads banned in UK crackdown on sexist commercials," 14 June 2019 The Boston Celtics have to tread lightly in discussions because of the possibility of losing Kyrie Irving in free agency. Andrew Lopez, nola.com, "Pelicans looking at multi-team deal for AD, preferably before draft: report," 10 June 2019 With Joyce, the unflinching recklessness of the familiar yet unspoken, going where even daredevils once feared to tread. Cynthia Ozick, WSJ, "Appreciation: Philip Roth," 25 May 2018 But Ellis would have to tread somewhat more carefully: While acquittals are generally final regardless of prejudicial mistakes by a judge during trial, defense attorneys often cite alleged judicial bias in requesting appeals. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Judge Ellis calls on Mueller team to 'really sharply focus' inquiries, as prosecutors ask witness about emoji," 9 Aug. 2018 Trained naturalists will guide visitors to local pools and teach them how to tread lightly and discover this delicate marine world. Ernie Cowan Outdoors, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Turkey Tune Up prepares hunters for spring season," 22 Jan. 2018 Was this the night that Karl’s great friend Princess Caroline of Monaco stood on the stairs, each tread lit with a scented candle, and started reciting Coleridge, perfect to the word? Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Remembers the Unparalleled Energy, Wicked Wit, and Insatiable Curiosity of Karl Lagerfeld," 20 Feb. 2019 Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, another leader who has trod into the sensitive terrain of World War II conduct, was the only one to address the diplomatic crisis. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israel hosts east European leaders after summit scrapped," 19 Feb. 2019 Democratic candidates such as Mr. Booker and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) have signed onto the Medicare for All bill from Mr. Sanders but are treading cautiously by also backing more incremental measures. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Medicare for All Bill Puts Pressure on Democrats’ 2020 Field," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The spokes are fitted to a conventional-looking tread around the outside of the wheel. The Economist, "An airless, puncture-proof car tyre takes to the road," 14 June 2019 By its nature, the sport requires sketchy scrambles on wet and mossy rocks (often with 40-plus pounds of boat on your shoulder), and having the right tread on your footwear becomes a matter of safety. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "The Astral Brewer Water Shoe Is the Best There Ever Was," 17 May 2018 The headman was a strikingly handsome, muscular man, wearing a beaded antelope hide tied over one shoulder, a pair of denim shorts and tire-tread sandals. WSJ, "Hunting in Tanzania the Way Our Earliest Ancestors Did," 9 Oct. 2018 Each of the 27 stair treads and risers has slightly different dimensions. Karen Bruno, WSJ, "A Staircase That Takes a Step Up," 21 Aug. 2018 The tires also have a smart tread pattern with larger biting edges that wrap around objects on the trail to increase your traction. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, "5 Bucket-List Upgrades to Make a Killer Overland Truck," 2 July 2018 Engineers from Ford’s performance group worked with tire maker Michelin to develop new Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a unique tread pattern and compound for the ’19 GT350. Mark Phelan, USA TODAY, "Ford's hottest version of Mustang even more blazing with 2019 upgrades," 14 June 2018 Engineers from Ford’s performance group worked with tire maker Michelin to develop new Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a unique tread pattern and compound for the ’19 GT350. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Ford reveals 2019 Shelby GT350 Mustang with aero and handling upgrades," 11 June 2018 Likewise, the seats come only in a red-and-black cloth-and-vinyl two-tone scheme with the tread pattern of the Goodyear DuraTrac tires printed on the seat backs and bottoms. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "2019 Ram 1500 Rebel," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tread.' 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 tread

Verb

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for tread

Verb

Middle English treden, from Old English tredan; akin to Old High German tretan to tread

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Statistics for tread

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tread

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

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More Definitions for tread

tread

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to walk
: to walk on or along (something)
: to form (a path) by walking

tread

noun

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

: the part of a tire that touches the ground : the pattern of raised lines on the surface of a tire
: a mark made by a tire when it rolls over the ground
: the part of a shoe or boot that touches the ground : the pattern of raised lines on the bottom of a shoe or boot

tread

verb
\ ˈtred How to pronounce tread (audio) \
trod\ ˈträd \; trodden\ ˈträ-​dᵊn \ or trod; treading

Kids Definition of tread

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to step or walk on or over
2 : to beat or press with the feet The snow was deep … few people had been out to tread it down …— Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising
3 : to move on foot : walk
tread water
: to keep the body upright in water and the head above water by moving the legs and arms

tread

noun

Kids Definition of tread (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action, manner, or sound of stepping or walking
2 : a mark made by a tire rolling over the ground
3 : the part of something (as a shoe or tire) that touches a surface
4 : the part of a step that is stepped on stair treads

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More from Merriam-Webster on tread

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tread

Spanish Central: Translation of tread

Nglish: Translation of tread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tread for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tread

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