tread

[ tred ]
/ trɛd /

verb (used without object), trod, trod·den or trod, tread·ing.

verb (used with object), trod, trod·den or trod, tread·ing.

noun

Idioms

Origin of tread

before 900; (v.) Middle English treden, Old English tredan; cognate with Old Frisian treda, Old Saxon tredan, Dutch treden, German treten; akin to Old Norse trotha, Gothic trudan; (noun) Middle English tred footprint, derivative of the v.
Related formstread·er, nouno·ver·tread, nounsub·tread, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tread water

tread

/ (trɛd) /

verb treads, treading, trod, trodden or trod

noun

Derived Formstreader, noun

Word Origin for tread

Old English tredan; related to Old Norse trotha , Old High German tretan, Swedish träda
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

Idioms and Phrases with tread water (1 of 2)

tread water


Expend effort that maintains one's status but does not make much progress toward a goal, as in He was just treading water from paycheck to paycheck. This idiom alludes to the term's literal meaning, that is, “keep one's head above water by remaining upright and pumping the legs.”

Idioms and Phrases with tread water (2 of 2)

tread


In addition to the idioms beginning with tread

  • tread the boards
  • tread water

also see:

  • fools rush in where angels fear to tread
  • step (tread) on one's toes
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.