[ thred-bair ]
/ ˈθrɛdˌbɛər /


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.


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Origin of threadbare

First recorded in 1325–75, threadbare is from the Middle English word thredbare. See thread, bare1


thread·bare·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for threadbare

British Dictionary definitions for threadbare

/ (ˈθrɛdˌbɛə) /


(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 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