Meaning of THREAD in English


I. ˈthred noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English thred, threed, from Old English thrǣd; akin to Old High German drāt wire, Old Norse thrāthr thread; derivative from the root of Old English thrāwan to cause to twist or turn — more at throw


a. : a filament, a group of filaments twisted together, or a filamentous length formed by spinning and twisting short textile fibers into a continuous strand

b. : a fine continuous strand made by plying two or more of these filament groups or lengths either with a tight twist and smooth finish (as for sewing or lace) or with a loose twist (as for embroidery) — compare cord , rope

c. : a piece of thread ; especially : a length for hand sewing

d. : yarn ; especially : a warp or weft yarn in a woven fabric

2. : something felt to resemble a textile thread: as

a. : any of various natural filaments

the threads of a spider web

byssus threads

b. : a slender stream (as of water)

c. : the middle of a river

d. : a narrow line or streak (as of light or color)

a thread of lamplight escaped under the edge of the shade

a quartz sparkling with fine threads of gold

e. : screw thread


(1) : any of various manufactured filaments (as of glass, plastic, rubber, metal)

(2) : a filament removed in the course of some process (as the cutting of the grooves of an original disc recording)

g. : the filament that forms when sugar boiled to 240° F is poured from a spoon

3. : something felt as drawn out or spun out or blended together like the filaments forming a textile thread: as

a. : the continuing course of a life : thread of life

b. : an ordered course (as that linking the elements of a discourse) : a line of reasoning, sequence of ideas, or train of thought

lost the thread of his argument

c. : clew 2b

d. : a continuing element that colors and modifies a whole

a thread of poetry marked all his writing

4. : a tenuous or feeble support that offers no real security : an extremely uncertain and problematical turn of events

a life hanging by a thread

5. obsolete : kind , quality , nature

6. : a measure for cotton yarn that is equal to 1/80 lea or 1 1/2 yards or 1.37 meters

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English threden, from thred, threed, n.

transitive verb


a. : to pass a thread through the eye of (a needle)

b. : to arrange a thread, yarn, or lead-in piece in working position for use in (a particular machine or device)

thread a bobbin

thread the sewing machine

c. : to feed (an exposing or a projecting mechanism) with film : feed film into (a camera)


a. : to pass through in the manner of a thread

thread a pipe with wire

thread tubing in a vein

streamlets threading the valley floor

b. : pierce , penetrate

c. : to make one's way through or between (as a narrow way or obstacles)

peddlers threading the narrow alleys

also : to make (one's way) usually cautiously through a hazardous place or situation

threaded his way through the legal entanglements

3. : to put or bring together by or as if by passing a thread through

thread beads

threaded several casual ideas into a charming essay


a. : to interweave with or as if with threads : intersperse

dark hair threaded with silver

b. : to cover with threads or a network of threads : screen with overlapping threads

thread plants to protect them from destructive birds

5. : to form a screw thread or threads on or in ; specifically : to form an external thread on — distinguished from tap

6. : to carry (a web) from point to point through a papermaking machine

intransitive verb

1. : to thread or wind a way — usually used with through

threading through narrow passages

able to thread but slowly through the intricate report

2. of a boiling syrup : to reach the thread stage : form a thread when poured from a spoon

III. adjective

Etymology: thread (I)

: relating to, made of, or resembling thread

thread stockings

thread -shaped

IV. noun

threads plural : clothes

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.