a simple past tense and past participle of tread.

Related formswell-trod, adjective



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

to set down the foot or feet in walking; step; walk.
to step, walk, or trample so as to press, crush, or injure something (usually followed by on or upon): to tread on a person's foot.
(of a male bird) to copulate.

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

to step or walk on, about, in, or along.
to trample or crush underfoot.
to form by the action of walking or trampling: to tread a path.
to treat with disdainful harshness or cruelty; crush; oppress.
to perform by walking or dancing: to tread a measure.
(of a male bird) to copulate with (a female bird).


the action of treading, stepping, or walking.
the sound of footsteps.
manner of treading or walking.
a single step as in walking.
any of various things or parts on which a person or thing treads, stands, or moves.
the part of the under surface of the foot or of a shoe that touches the ground.
the horizontal upper surface of a step in a stair, on which the foot is placed.
the part of a wheel, tire, or runner that bears on the road, rail, etc.
the pattern raised on or cut into the face of a rubber tire.
Also caterpillar tread. a metal tread on which a Caterpillar-style vehicle moves.
Railroads. that part of a rail in contact with the treads of wheels.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trod

Contemporary Examples of trod

Historical Examples of trod

  • The earth he trod was like no other ground he had ever walked upon.

  • On mounting the steps at the Thtre Franais I trod on a lady's dress.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • We had to move slowly, as at every step we trod upon the dying or the dead.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Where they trod it was as if peach pits were crushed beneath their feet.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • They called to Madame Gaudron to be careful how she trod on account of her condition.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for trod



the past tense and a past participle of tread


verb treads, treading, trod, trodden or trod

to walk or trample in, on, over, or across (something)
(when intr, foll by on) to crush or squash by or as if by treadingto tread grapes; to tread on a spider
(intr sometimes foll by on) to subdue or repress, as by doing injury (to)to tread on one's inferiors
(tr) to do by walking or dancingto tread a measure
(tr) (of a male bird) to copulate with (a female bird)
tread lightly to proceed with delicacy or tact
tread on someone's toes to offend or insult someone, esp by infringing on his sphere of action, etc
tread water to stay afloat in an upright position by moving the legs in a walking motion


a manner or style of walking, dancing, etca light tread
the act of treading
the top surface of a step in a staircase
the outer part of a tyre or wheel that makes contact with the road, esp the grooved surface of a pneumatic tyre
the part of a rail that wheels touch
the part of a shoe that is generally in contact with the ground
vet science an injury to a horse's foot caused by the opposite foot, or the foot of another horse
a rare word for footprint
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

Word Origin and History for trod

past tense of tread (q.v.).



Old English tredan (class V strong verb; past tense træd, past participle treden), from Proto-Germanic *tredanan (cf. Old Frisian treda, Middle Dutch treden, Old High German tretan, German treten, Gothic trudan, Old Norse troða).



early 13c., from tread (v.); in reference to automobile tires, it is recorded from 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with trod


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.