threadbare

[ thred-bair ]
/ ˈθrɛdˌbɛər /

adjective

having the nap worn off so as to lay bare the threads of the warp and woof, as a fabric, garment, etc.
wearing threadbare clothes; shabby or poor: a threadbare old man.
meager, scanty, or poor: a threadbare emotional life.
hackneyed; trite; ineffectively stale: threadbare arguments.

Origin of threadbare

First recorded in 1325–75, threadbare is from the Middle English word thredbare. See thread, bare1
Related formsthread·bare·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for threadbare

British Dictionary definitions for threadbare

threadbare

/ (ˈθrɛdˌbɛə) /

adjective

(of cloth, clothing, etc) having the nap worn off so that the threads are exposed
meagre or poora threadbare existence
hackneyeda threadbare argument
wearing threadbare clothes; shabby
Derived Formsthreadbareness, noun
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 threadbare

threadbare


adj.

mid-14c., from thread (n.) + bare. The notion is of "having the nap worn off," leaving bare the threads.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper