- a fine cord of flax, cotton, or other fibrous material spun out to considerable length, especially when composed of two or more filaments twisted together.
- twisted filaments or fibers of any kind used for sewing.
- one of the lengths of yarn forming the warp or weft of a woven fabric.
- a filament or fiber of glass or other ductile substance.
- any of a number of fibers twisted into a yarn.
- a yarn, especially as enumerated in describing small stuff.
- something having the fineness or slenderness of a filament, as a thin continuous stream of liquid, a fine line of color, or a thin seam of ore: a thread of smoke.
- the helical ridge of a screw.
- that which runs through the whole course of something, connecting successive parts: I lost the thread of the story.
- something conceived as being spun or continuously drawn out, as the course of life fabled to be spun, measured, and cut by the Fates.
- Digital Technology. a series of posts and responses on a message board or electronic mailing list that deal with the same subject and are grouped together.
- threads, Slang. clothes.
verb (used with object)
- to pass the end of a thread through the eye of (a needle).
- to fix (beads, pearls, etc.) upon a thread that is passed through; string.
- to pass continuously through the whole course of (something); pervade: A joyous quality threaded the whole symphony.
- to make one’s way through (a narrow passage, forest, crowd, etc.).
- to make (one’s way) thus: He threaded his way through the crowd.
- to form a thread on or in (a bolt, hole, etc.).
- to place and arrange thread, yarn, etc., in position on (a sewing machine, loom, textile machine, etc.).
- to remove (facial hair, especially eyebrow hair) by using a looped and twisted thread to roll over the hair and lift it from the follicles.
verb (used without object)
- to thread one’s way, as through a passage or between obstacles: They threaded carefully along the narrow pass.
- to move in a threadlike course; wind or twine.
- Cookery. (of boiling syrup) to form a fine thread when poured from a spoon.
- to remove facial hair, especially from the eyebrows, by using a looped and twisted thread.
- a fine strand, filament or fibre of some material
- a fine cord of twisted filaments, esp of cotton, used in sewing, weaving, etc
- any of the filaments of which a spider’s web is made
- any fine line, stream, mark, or piecefrom the air, the path was a thread of white
- a helical groove in a cylindrical hole (female thread), formed by a tap or lathe tool, or a helical ridge on a cylindrical bar, rod, shank, etc (male thread), formed by a die or lathe tool
- a very thin seam of coal or vein of ore
- something acting as the continuous link or theme of a wholethe thread of the story
- the course of an individual’s life believed in Greek mythology to be spun, measured, and cut by the Fates
- (tr) to pass (thread, film, magnetic tape, etc) through (something)to thread a needle; to thread cotton through a needle
- (tr) to string on a threadshe threaded the beads
- to make (one’s way) through or over (something)
- (tr) to produce a screw thread by cutting, rolling, tapping, or grinding
- (tr) to pervadehysteria threaded his account
- (intr) (of boiling syrup) to form a fine thread when poured from a spoon
Old English þræd “fine cord, especially when twisted” (related to þrawan “to twist”), from Proto-Germanic *thrædus (cf. Middle Dutch draet, Dutch draad, Old High German drat, German Draht, Old Norse þraðr), from suffixed form of root *thræ- “twist” (see throw). Meaning “spiral ridge of a screw” is from 1670s. Threads, slang for “clothes” is 1926, American English.
“to put thread through a needle,” mid-14c., from thread (n.); in reference to film cameras from 1913. The dancing move called thread the needle is attested from 1844. Related: Threaded; threading.
see hang by a thread; lose the thread.