tread

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: to step or walk on or over
b
: to walk or proceed along : follow
treading a fine line between tradition and innovation
2
a
: to form by treading : beat
tread a path
b
: to execute by stepping or dancing
tread a measure
3
a
: 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
2
a
: to set foot
has gone where others fear to tread
b
: to put one's foot : step
carelessly treading on the flowers
3
treader noun

tread

2 of 2

noun

1
a(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
2
a
: the upper horizontal part of a step
b
: the width of such a tread
3
a
: 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
treadless adjective
Phrases
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Today, America’s enemies around the globe are no doubt treading with the same jauntiness as the country fractures into factions and is immobilized by polarization. Richard Babcock, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2024 Try to do your rose care whilst treading only on the steppingstones in your garden. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for tread 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tread.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near tread

Cite this Entry

“Tread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tread. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

tread

1 of 2 verb
trod ˈträd How to pronounce tread (audio) ; trodden ˈträd-ᵊn How to pronounce tread (audio) or trod; treading
1
a
: to step or walk on or over
b
: to walk along : follow
2
: to beat or press with the feet : trample
3
a
: to form by treading : beat
tread a path
b
: to perform by stepping or dancing
tread a measure
treader noun

tread

2 of 2 noun
1
: a mark made by or as if by treading
2
: the action, manner, or sound of treading or stepping
3
a
: the part of a sole that touches the ground
b
: the part of a wheel or tire that makes contact with a road or rail
especially : the ridges or grooves on the surface of a tire
4
: the horizontal part of a step

More from Merriam-Webster on tread

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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