1

tread

verb \ ˈtred \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of tread

trod play \ˈträd\ also treaded; trodden play \ˈträ-dᵊn\ 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 : copulate

treader

noun
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

  1. They slowly trod back to the camp.

  2. Don't tread on the grass.

  3. treading the halls of the Senate

  4. Countless footsteps have trodden a path to their door.

Recent Examples of tread from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of tread

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


2

tread

noun

Definition of tread

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

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of tread in a Sentence

  1. The treads of the tires were badly worn.

  2. running shoes with good treads

Recent Examples of tread from the Web

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.

First Known Use of tread

13th century

Other Automotive Terms



TREAD Defined for English Language Learners

tread

verb

Definition of tread for English Language Learners

  • : to walk

  • : to walk on or along (something)

  • : to form (a path) by walking


tread

noun

Definition of tread for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

tread

verb \ ˈtred \

Definition of tread for Students

trod \ˈträd\; trodden \ˈträ-dᵊn\ or trod; treading
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

2

tread

noun

Definition of tread for Students

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tread? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sticky or viscid

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!