Origin of packthread

First recorded in 1300–50, packthread is from the Middle English word pakthrede. See pack1, thread
Related formspack·thread·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for packthread

Historical Examples of packthread

  • Well, Sir, that imp there winds her round her finger like a piece of packthread.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • Now, if we could get rid of the bonds of self first, we could snap the other fetters like packthread.


    Laurence Oliphant

  • The carpet and furniture are strewed with long, straggling pieces of packthread.

  • Rights and rules, which are bonds of iron to a little man, are packthread to a giant.

    Phineas Redux

    Anthony Trollope

  • The barbed-wire obstructions before the German positions were cut like packthread.

British Dictionary definitions for packthread


  1. a strong twine for sewing or tying up packages
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012