• Thread


    • IPA: /θɹɛd/
    • Rhymes: -ɛd


    From Middle English threed, þred, from Old English þrǽd, ðrǽd, from Proto-Germanic *þrēduz, from Proto-Indo-European *treh₁-tu-, from *terh₁- ("rub, twist"). Near cognates include Dutch draad German Draht, Icelandic þráður and Norwegian, Danish and Swedish tråd. Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian dredh ("twist, turn").

    Full definition of thread



    (plural threads)
    1. A long, thin and flexible form of material, generally with a round cross-section, used in sewing, weaving or in the construction of string.
      • 1922, Michael Arlen, “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days Chapter Ep./1/2, He walked. To the corner of Hamilton Place and Picadilly, and there stayed for a while, for it is a romantic station by night. The vague and careless rain looked like threads of gossamer silver passing across the light of the arc-lamps.
    2. A theme or idea.
      All of these essays have a common thread.
      I’ve lost the thread of what you’re saying.
    3. A screw thread.
    4. A sequence of connections.
      • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, I was pondering these things, when an incident, and a somewhat unexpected one, broke the thread of my musings.
      • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula, ‘Let him go on. Do not interrupt him. He cannot go back, and maybe could not proceed at all if once he lost the thread of his thought.’
    5. The line midway between the banks of a stream.
    6. (computing) A unit of execution, lighter in weight than a process, generally expected to share memory and other resources with other threads executing concurrently.
    7. (Internet) A series of messages, generally grouped by subject, all but the first replies to previous messages in the thread.
    8. A filament, as of a flower, or of any fibrous substance, as of bark.
    9. (figurative) Composition; quality; fineness.
      • Ben Jonson (1572-1637)A neat courtier,
        Of a most elegant thread.



    1. (transitive) To put thread through.thread a needle
    2. (transitive) To pass (through a narrow constriction or around a series of obstacles).I think I can thread my way through here, but it’s going to be tight.
      • 2013, Ben Smith, "http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24503988", BBC Sport, 19 October 2013:Picking the ball up in his own half, Januzaj threaded a 40-yard pass into the path of Rooney to slice Southampton open in the blink of an eye.
    3. To screw on, to fit the threads of a nut on a bolt

    Derived terms

    See also

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