[ thred-bair ]
See synonyms for threadbare on
  1. having the nap worn off so as to lay bare the threads of the warp and woof, as a fabric, garment, etc.

  2. wearing threadbare clothes; shabby or poor: a threadbare old man.

  1. meager, scanty, or poor: a threadbare emotional life.

  2. 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

Other words from threadbare

  • threadbareness, noun

Words Nearby threadbare Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use threadbare in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for threadbare


/ (ˈθrɛdˌbɛə) /

  1. (of cloth, clothing, etc) having the nap worn off so that the threads are exposed

  2. meagre or poor: a threadbare existence

  1. hackneyed: a threadbare argument

  2. wearing threadbare clothes; shabby

Derived forms of threadbare

  • threadbareness, 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