English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

English Dictionary

thread  (θrɛd



  1. a fine strand, filament or fibre of some material
  2. a fine cord of twisted filaments, esp of cotton, used in sewing, weaving, etc
  3. any of the filaments of which a spider's web is made
  4. any fine line, stream, mark, or piece   ⇒ from the air, the path was a thread of white
  5. a helical groove in a cylindrical hole (female thread), formed by a tap or lathe tool, or a helical ridge on a cylindrical bar, rod, shank, etc (male thread), formed by a die or lathe tool
  6. a very thin seam of coal or vein of ore
  7. something acting as the continuous link or theme of a whole   ⇒ the thread of the story
  8. the course of an individual's life believed in Greek mythology to be spun, measured, and cut by the Fates


  1. (transitive) to pass (thread, film, magnetic tape, etc) through (something)   ⇒ to thread a needle,   ⇒ to thread cotton through a needle
  2. (transitive) to string on a thread   ⇒ she threaded the beads
  3. to make (one's way) through or over (something)
  4. (transitive) to produce a screw thread by cutting, rolling, tapping, or grinding
  5. (transitive) to pervade   ⇒ hysteria threaded his account
  6. (intransitive) (of boiling syrup) to form a fine thread when poured from a spoon

Derived Forms

ˈthreader  noun
ˈthreadless  adjective
ˈthreadˌlike  adjective

Word Origin

Old English thrǣd; related to Old Frisian thrēd, Old High German drāt, Old Norse thrāthr thread


View thesaurus entry
= theme, motif, train of thought, course, direction, strain, plot, drift, tenor, story line
= move, pass, inch, ease, thrust, meander, squeeze through, pick your way

Translations for 'thread'

  • British English: thread Thread or a thread is a long very thin piece of a material such as cotton, nylon, or silk, especially one that is used in sewing.This time I'll do it properly with a needle and thread.θrɛd NOUN
  • Arabic: خَيْط
  • Brazilian Portuguese: fio
  • Chinese: 线
  • Croatian: konac
  • Czech: nit
  • Danish: tråd
  • Dutch: draad
  • European Spanish: hilo
  • Finnish: lanka
  • French: fil
  • German: Faden Fäden
  • Greek: κλωστή
  • Italian: filo
  • Japanese:
  • Korean:
  • Norwegian: hyssing
  • Polish: nitka
  • Portuguese: fio
  • Romanian: ață ațe
  • Russian: нить
  • Spanish: hilo
  • Swedish: tråd
  • Thai: ด้าย
  • Turkish: iplik
  • Ukrainian: нитка
  • Vietnamese: sợi
  • British English: thread When you thread a needle, you put a piece of thread through the hole in the top of the needle in order to sew with it. VERBI sit down, thread a needle, snip off an old button.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: enfiar
  • Chinese: 穿
  • European Spanish: enhebrar
  • French: enfiler
  • German: einfädeln
  • Italian: infilare
  • Japanese: 糸を通す
  • Korean: 바늘에 실을 꿰다
  • Portuguese: enfiar
  • Spanish: enhebrar

Example Sentences Including 'thread'

She stopped for a minute, getting hold of a piece of loose thread.
Cassidy, Anne In Real Life
He kept coming back to Schumacher, a thread which somehow ran through all the mysteries he'd found in this city.
Dobbs, Michael Wall Games
His hair had started to thread with silver round the temples, she noted.


Log in to comment on this word.