View synonyms for thread


[ thred ]


  1. 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.
  2. twisted filaments or fibers of any kind used for sewing.
  3. one of the lengths of yarn forming the warp or weft of a woven fabric.
  4. a filament or fiber of glass or other ductile substance.
  5. Ropemaking.
    1. any of a number of fibers twisted into a yarn.
    2. a yarn, especially as enumerated in describing small stuff.
  6. 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.

  7. the helical ridge of a screw.
  8. that which runs through the whole course of something, connecting successive parts:

    I lost the thread of the story.

  9. something conceived as being spun or continuously drawn out, as the course of life fabled to be spun, measured, and cut by the Fates.
  10. 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.
  11. threads, Slang. clothes none.

verb (used with object)

  1. to pass the end of a thread through the eye of (a needle).
  2. to fix (beads, pearls, etc.) upon a thread that is passed through; string.
  3. to pass continuously through the whole course of (something); pervade:

    A joyous quality threaded the whole symphony.

  4. to make one's way through (a narrow passage, forest, crowd, etc.).
  5. to make (one's way) thus:

    He threaded his way through the crowd.

  6. to form a thread on or in (a bolt, hole, etc.).
  7. to place and arrange thread, yarn, etc., in position on (a sewing machine, loom, textile machine, etc.).
  8. 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)

  1. to thread one's way, as through a passage or between obstacles:

    They threaded carefully along the narrow pass.

  2. to move in a threadlike course; wind or twine.
  3. Cooking. (of boiling syrup) to form a fine thread when poured from a spoon.
  4. to remove facial hair, especially from the eyebrows, by using a looped and twisted thread.


/ θrɛd /


  1. a fine strand, filament or fibre of some material
  2. a fine cord of twisted filaments, esp of cotton, used in sewing, weaving, etc
  3. any of the filaments of which a spider's web is made
  4. any fine line, stream, mark, or piece

    from the air, the path was a thread of white

  5. 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
  6. a very thin seam of coal or vein of ore
  7. something acting as the continuous link or theme of a whole

    the thread of the story

  8. the course of an individual's life believed in Greek mythology to be spun, measured, and cut by the Fates
“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


  1. tr to pass (thread, film, magnetic tape, etc) through (something)

    to thread a needle

    to thread cotton through a needle

  2. tr to string on a thread

    she threaded the beads

  3. to make (one's way) through or over (something)
  4. tr to produce a screw thread by cutting, rolling, tapping, or grinding
  5. tr to pervade

    hysteria threaded his account

  6. intr (of boiling syrup) to form a fine thread when poured from a spoon
“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
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Derived Forms

  • ˈthreader, noun
  • ˈthreadˌlike, adjective
  • ˈthreadless, adjective
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Other Words From

  • threader noun
  • threadless adjective
  • threadlike adjective
  • mis·thread verb
  • re·thread verb
  • self-threading adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of thread1

before 900; (noun) Middle English threed, Old English thrǣd; cognate with Dutch draad, German Draht, Old Norse thrathr wire; (v.) Middle English threeden, derivative of the noun See throw none
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Word History and Origins

Origin of thread1

Old English thrǣd; related to Old Frisian thrēd, Old High German drāt, Old Norse thrāthr thread
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Idioms and Phrases

see hang by a thread ; lose the thread .
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Example Sentences

Founded in 2016, Neuralink is a neuroscience technology company focused on building systems with super-thin threads that carry electrodes.

From Vox

Create threads under your original Voice Tweets with transcriptions to improve accessibility and utilize SEO keywords.

An important thread in developing this technology began with the American mathematician and AI pioneer Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Bledsoe.

Some carriers on the Reddit thread reported anxiety over the pandemic, including one who asked customers to stay inside their houses until their packages have been delivered.

From Fortune

Modern supply chains are fluid and elaborate, ever shifting to account for minute changes in the price of screws, thread, or copper wire.

They are always suspended over a precipice, dangling by a slender thread that shows every sign of snapping.

Redlich noted that this is another common thread in false confessions.

Colfer's artistic callings share a common thread: they are deeply personal and rooted in a challenging childhood.

There, he first picked up needle and thread to mend the shirt of an SS guard who had just beaten him.

Malaysian airlines  In the Reddit thread “What is the Best ‘Too Soon’ costume for Halloween?”

But it was the labyrinth for which the earlier economist held, so he thought, the thread.

The organism is an actively motile spiral thread, about four times the diameter of a red corpuscle in length.

I shall then give an account of my various excursions in an Appendix, and afterwards resume the thread of my journal.

Its anterior portion is slender and thread-like, while the posterior portion is thicker (Fig. 112).

Spirochte pallida is an extremely slender, spiral, motile thread, with pointed ends.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.