[verb ree-tred; noun ree-tred]

verb (used with object), re·tread·ed, re·tread·ing.

to put a new tread on (a worn pneumatic tire casing) either by recapping or by cutting fresh treads in the smooth surface.
to repeat or do over, especially without the boldness or inventiveness of the original.


Origin of retread

First recorded in 1885–90; re- + tread



verb (used with or without object), re-trod, re-trod·den or re-trod, re-tread·ing.

to tread again.

Origin of re-tread

First recorded in 1590–1600; re- + tread Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for retread

Contemporary Examples of retread

Historical Examples of retread

  • McKenzie was getting old, he wanted a Retread, and wanted it badly.


    Alan Edward Nourse

  • On examination we found that there was no outlet practicable for us in this channel, and that we must retread our steps.

  • He turned, as these thoughts passed through his mind, and began hastily to retread his footsteps towards the castle.

    The Abbot

    Sir Walter Scott

  • I was not insensible that my path became more intricate and more difficult to retread in proportion as I advanced.

    Edgar Huntley

    Charles Brockden Brown

  • Well, would you walk into the Center for a Retread now without being sure he's wrong?


    Alan Edward Nourse

British Dictionary definitions for retread


verb (riːˈtrɛd) -treads, -treading or -treaded

(tr) another word for remould (def. 2)

noun (ˈriːˌtrɛd)

another word for remould (def. 3)
Australian and NZ informal a pensioner who has resumed employment, esp in a former profession
a film, piece of music, etc, which is a superficially altered version of an earlier original


verb -treads, -treading, -trod, -trodden or -trod

(tr) to tread or walk over (one's steps) again
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

Word Origin and History for retread

"to put a new tread on (a tire)," 1908, from re- "back, again" (see re-) + tread (q.v.). The noun is attested from 1914; in World War I it was Australian slang for "a re-enlisted soldier."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper