- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for threadbare
Even though there is a threadbare concession stand, overflowing picnic baskets abound.Native American Basketball Team in Wyoming Have Hoop Dreams Of Their Own
August 31, 2014
Instead, Carson tends to alternate between inflammatory arguments and threadbare truisms.The Conservatives' Great Black Hope
May 19, 2014
Immigration and tax policy are just as beggared and threadbare and awful.Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush & the Politics of Exhaustion
April 7, 2014
On the other hand, the economic model is as threadbare as many of the buildings and much of the island's infrastructure.Obama Should End America’s Stupidest Foreign Policy: Isolating Cuba
February 26, 2014
Sequestration tore at our threadbare social safety net, and this deal leaves the damage intact.Tea Party Republicans: The Biggest Sore Winners in Washington
December 12, 2013
It's a very good word, too, but sometimes I fear she will wear it threadbare.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
When at length she felt a welcome jar and lurch her patience was threadbare.The Very Small Person
Annie Hamilton Donnell
He weighed the stories he had heard from Shaky, and picked them threadbare.The Night Riders
His sentiments were, no better known in Boston than his threadbare clothes.The Siege of Boston
She pressed the cat to her threadbare bosom with a breathless exclamation.Under Western Eyes
- (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
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper