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thread (thrĕd)
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n.
1.
a. Fine cord of a fibrous material, such as cotton or flax, made of two or more filaments twisted together and used in needlework and the weaving of cloth.
b. A piece of such cord.
2.
a. A thin strand, cord, or filament of natural or manufactured material.
b. Something that suggests the fineness or thinness of such a strand, cord, or filament: a thread of smoke.
c. Something that suggests the continuousness of such a strand, cord, or filament: lost the thread of his argument.
3. A helical or spiral ridge on a screw, nut, or bolt.
4. Computers
a. A portion of a program that can run independently of and concurrently with other portions of the program.
b. A set of posts on a newsgroup, composed of an initial post about a topic and all responses to it.
5. threads Slang Clothes.
v. thread·ed, thread·ing, threads
v.tr.
1.
a. To pass one end of a thread through the eye of (a needle, for example).
b. To pass (something) through in the manner of a thread: thread the wire through the opening.
c. To pass a tape or film into or through (a device): thread a film projector.
d. To pass (a tape or film) into or through a device.
2. To connect by running a thread through; string: thread beads.
3. Sports To throw or send (a pass) though a heavily defended area to a teammate.
4.
a. To make one's way cautiously through: threading dark alleys.
b. To make (one's way) cautiously through something.
5. To occur here and there throughout; pervade: "More than 90 geologic faults thread the Los Angeles area" (Science News).
6. To machine a thread on (a screw, nut, or bolt).
7. To remove (body hair) by using a looped thread that has been wound tightly in the middle.
v.intr.
1. To make one's way cautiously: threaded through the shoals and sandbars.
2. To proceed by a winding course.
3. To form a thread when dropped from a spoon, as boiling sugar syrup.

[Middle English, from Old English thrǣd; see terə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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