tread

verb
\ ˈtred \
trod\ ˈträd \ also treaded; trodden\ ˈträ-​dᵊn \ 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 \ 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

This is the one Chevy wanted us to drive in the winding, hilly scrub above San Diego, and the RS impresses, inspiring confidence through turns where a car this tall should fear to tread. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019 In a study published earlier this year the two researchers tested their system on a database of footsteps trodden by 127 different people. The Economist, "The way people walk can be used for ID and health checks," 12 July 2018 The agent, though, did offer his thoughts on where De Bruyne could end his time in football and the destination isn't dissimilar to the path trodden by Manchester United legend David Beckham. SI.com, "Kevin De Bruyne's Agent Reveals Where He Sees Belgian Superstar Moving in Future," 28 Apr. 2018 The spray can attract onlookers and photographers, but anyone treading onto the rocky shores should be cautious. Jamie Hale, OregonLive.com, "Spouting horns are a dramatic, fascinating feature of the Oregon coast," 24 Jan. 2018 As the yellow brick road paves the way to the Emerald City, travelers treading west on Division are delivered to Humboldt Park, the 219-acre sprawl of greenery, garden, beach and lagoon. Nneka Mcguire, chicagotribune.com, "Hungry for authenticity? Consider calling Humboldt Park home," 2 July 2017 Ordinary People, Redford’s Oscar-winning directorial debut, would tread on similar emotional territory. Marley Marius, Vogue, "An Ode to Robert Redford, on What May Be His Retirement From Acting," 25 Sep. 2018 But if there's a hint of jealousy in your relationship already, tread lightly. Nick Levine, GQ, "The Pros of Being in an Open Relationship," 9 Mar. 2018 Little by little, Purcell—treading the blurred line between burnout and breakdown—perceives these sickening new crimes as the fruit of diseased notions and lingering hatreds from earlier decades and even centuries. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales of Three Blood-Soaked Cities," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 There are also several snowbike events this year, which involve riding a winter-friendly motocross bike (think: a ski on the front and a snowmobile-like tread on the back) to complete various challenges, explains Reed. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The 2019 Winter X Games Starts This Week—Here’s What You Need to Know," 23 Jan. 2019 The truck had interchangeable skis and tank-like treads on the rear tires. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "12 Geeky Ways to Deliver Mail: U.S. Postal Service Technology Through the Ages," 18 Jan. 2019 The name is a combination of tire tread — to give Detroit traction in fashion — and a nod to the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. Micheline Maynard, New York Times, "Can Fashion Help Detroit Make a Comeback?," 2 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

11 Feb 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 \
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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