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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a needle and thread
▪ I got a needle and thread and sewed the button back on.
cotton thread (=long thin cotton string that you use for sewing)
▪ I need some dark blue cotton thread.
thread a needle
▪ Eleanor threaded the needle.
▪ Alarmed, they drop quickly and remain suspended at the end of fine silk-like threads.
▪ The finer the threads, the higher the count and the softer the fabric will be.
▪ Use fine thread; silk thread with silk fabrics, and synthetic thread with synthetic fabrics.
▪ It was raven black and the hair was entwined with a slim rope of gold thread and opals.
▪ The coats were ornately if not fabulously stitched with over a mile of gold thread.
▪ The gold threads and the jewels woven through it sparkled in the light of the lamps.
▪ One was of black and orange and yellow lace, with gold thread in it.
▪ He should have read the writing on the machine they gave him to spin the golden thread.
▪ Yet there seems to be a dearth of people arguing consistently using a golden thread methodology.
▪ Soon Maggie held a golden ball of thread and St Margaret had one end of it firmly attached to her finger.
▪ She adjusted the loose threads in one hand and held the distaff in the other.
▪ Pete sounded muffled. and as he turned Marcus noticed that he too had a loose thread on his shirt.
▪ The loose thread in this rotten tapestry is Vechey.
▪ There was a loose thread on one of Carter's shirt buttons.
▪ Anxiously, Marcus scanned Gleeson's shirt: no loose threads.
▪ She was knitting a cloth with gold and silver thread.
▪ Turakina had on a gown into which were woven gold and silver threads.
▪ The silver thread of a stream ran down to a crescent-shaped beach.
▪ A caterpillar dangled in front of me, hanging in mid-air by a silver thread attached to an oak tree twig.
▪ For evening wear, using a gold or silver thread instead of cotton can add sparkle to your knitting.
▪ Gingerly, she crawls across this pilot line, trailing behind her a thicker, stronger thread.
▪ There is a strong thread of historical connection between the three.
▪ It was so strong, so intangible yet so strong, this thread of awareness running between them.
▪ Ruby laser light stitched the interior of the sanctum like thinnest threads of stronger flame within a dully glowing oven.
▪ It is a cage, suspended from the ceiling by the thinnest of threads.
▪ Ventilators hiss and sigh, answering each other across the unit, while thin life-threads move over monitors.
▪ The finest of these thin threads of glass are extremely soft and flexible, and are a light golden brown in colour.
▪ It was built as a monument to Thomas Coats, the man who had established the family's cotton thread empire.
▪ When you knit punch lace, the cotton thread in feeder 2 knits every needle on every row.
▪ It's the needles that knit the cotton thread only that give the lacy effect.
▪ Normally punch lace is shown knitted with a cotton thread that is the same colour as a main yarn.
▪ On a Chunky machine an alternative to cotton thread is one end of 2/30 industrial yarn.
▪ Hair is a marvellous natural fibre - you could almost compare it to pure silk thread.
▪ A layer of stiff silk threads separated the two.
▪ Those photographs: a silk thread held either side of her nose, just tilting it up slightly ....
▪ A length of yarn to cut into four equal pieces, and besides that, some white silk thread and tinfoil.
▪ Use fine thread; silk thread with silk fabrics, and synthetic thread with synthetic fabrics.
▪ That's not a hair the axeman says it's a silk thread, a grass blade, the moth's antennae.
▪ He should have read the writing on the machine they gave him to spin the golden thread.
▪ They were three, Clotho, the Spinner, who spun the thread of life.
▪ These were similar to miniature flywheels and added extra momentum while spinning the thread.
▪ The daughters of the night, they were Clotho, who spun the thread of life.
▪ One spun the thread of life, the second measured it and the third cut it.
hang by a thread
▪ Ed was just hanging by a thread.
▪ His job is hanging by a thread, as it is.
▪ Hopes of a title hat-trick hang by a thread, but all is not quite lost.
▪ Liputin's teeth are by no means the only things that hang by a thread.
pick up the threads (of sth)
▪ The good thing is that he's trying to pick up the threads of his life again.
▪ Enough to do picking up the threads of his own life.
▪ She gradually started to pick up the threads of her life.
▪ A strong thread of spirituality runs through L'Engle's books.
▪ I tried to hold on to a thread of decency and courage.
▪ All these threads, and more, entwine in the lines of longitude.
▪ As a result theoretical discourses are traversed by narrative structures which form a hidden thread running through the argument.
▪ But there will be a connective thread through it all.
▪ Each can be the thread that connects children to an engagement with geography, history, and the like.
▪ She was knitting a cloth with gold and silver thread.
▪ They were three, Clotho, the Spinner, who spun the thread of life.
▪ This fabric seems infinite, and its threads worm their way into the natural core that Claire and Jay have formed.
▪ It reminded me of Mrs Patrick Campbell, who, according to Shaw, could thread a needle with her toes.
▪ He sat with Lula while she quilted, threading needles for her and telling her about his day.
▪ Even many conservatives agree that Clinton has threaded that needle more effectively than they expected.
Thread the beads on a string and make a necklace.
▪ A tip for threading up Silver Reed or Knitmaster machines.
▪ He threaded the pen back through her fingers, gently.
▪ Huong was already threading his machine.
▪ Rather, the guitar and drum set seem like obbligato instruments, threading their way through the varied and highly imaginative texture.
▪ Some of the tunnels must have run for miles, winding in and out of the channels of water that threaded everywhere.
▪ Steel threaded through her muscles, and her senses became as sharp as a cat's.
▪ They missed his knack of threading the play together and didn't produce their usual rhythm.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Thread \Thread\ (thr[e^]d), n. [OE. threed, [thorn]red, AS. [thorn]r[=ae]d; akin to D. draad, G. draht wire, thread, OHG. dr[=a]t, Icel. [thorn]r[=a][eth]r a thread, Sw. tr[*a]d, Dan. traad, and AS. [thorn]r[=a]wan to twist. See Throw, and cf. Third.]

  1. A very small twist of flax, wool, cotton, silk, or other fibrous substance, drawn out to considerable length; a compound cord consisting of two or more single yarns doubled, or joined together, and twisted; also, one fiber of a cord composed of multiple fibers.

  2. A filament of any substance, as of glass, gold or silver; a filamentous part of an object, such as a flower; a component fiber of any or of any fibrous substance, as of bark.

  3. The prominent part of the spiral of a screw or nut; the rib. See Screw, n., 1.

  4. (Fig.) Something continued in a long course or tenor; a recurrent theme or related sequence of events in a larger story; as the thread of a story, or of life, or of a discourse.
    --Bp. Burnet.

  5. Fig.: Composition; quality; fineness. [Obs.]

    A neat courtier, Of a most elegant thread.
    --B. Jonson.

  6. (Computers) A related sequence of instructions or actions within a program that runs at least in part independent of other actions within the program; -- such threads are capable of being executed only in oprating systems permittnig multitasking.

  7. (Computers) A sequence of messages posted to an on-line newsgroup or discussion group, dealing with the same topic; -- messages in such a thread typically refer to a previous posting, thus allowing their identification as part of the thread. Some news-reading programs allow a user to follow a single such thread independent of the other postings to that newsgroup.

    Air thread, the fine white filaments which are seen floating in the air in summer, the production of spiders; gossamer.

    Thread and thrum, the good and bad together. [Obs.]

    Thread cell (Zo["o]l.), a lasso cell. See under Lasso.

    Thread herring (Zo["o]l.), the gizzard shad. See under Gizzard.

    Thread lace, lace made of linen thread.

    Thread needle, a game in which children stand in a row, joining hands, and in which the outer one, still holding his neighbor, runs between the others; -- called also thread the needle.


Thread \Thread\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Threaded; p. pr. & vb. n. Threading.]

  1. To pass a thread through the eye of; as, to thread a needle.

  2. To pass or pierce through as a narrow way; also, to effect or make, as one's way, through or between obstacles; to thrid.

    Heavy trading ships . . . threading the Bosphorus.

    They would not thread the gates.

  3. To form a thread, or spiral rib, on or in; as, to thread a screw or nut.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English þræd "fine cord, especially when twisted" (related to þrawan "to twist"), from Proto-Germanic *thredu- "twisted yarn" (cognates: Old Saxon thrad, Old Frisian thred, Middle Dutch draet, Dutch draad, Old High German drat, German Draht, Old Norse þraðr), literally "twisted," from suffixed form of PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, rub by turning, turn" (see throw (v.)). Meaning "spiral ridge of a screw" is from 1670s. Threads, slang for "clothes" is 1926, American English.\n\nThe silk line, as spun by the worm, is about the 5000th part of an inch thick; but a spider's line is perhaps six times finer, or only the 30,000th part of an inch in diameter, insomuch, that a single pound of this attenuated substance might be sufficient to encompass our globe.

[John Leslie, "Elements of Natural Philosophy," Edinburgh, 1823]


"to put thread through a needle," mid-14c., from thread (n.); in reference to film cameras from 1913. The dancing move called thread the needle is attested from 1844. Related: Threaded; threading.


n. A long, thin and flexible form of material, generally with a round cross-section, used in sewing, weave or in the construction of string. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To put thread through. 2 (context transitive English) To pass (through a narrow constriction or around a series of obstacles). 3 To screw on, to fit the #Nouns of a nut on a bolt

  1. n. a fine cord of twisted fibers (of cotton or silk or wool or nylon etc.) used in sewing and weaving [syn: yarn]

  2. any long object resembling a thin line; "a mere ribbon of land"; "the lighted ribbon of traffic"; "from the air the road was a gray thread"; "a thread of smoke climbed upward" [syn: ribbon]

  3. the connections that link the various parts of an event or argument together; "I couldn't follow his train of thought"; "he lost the thread of his argument" [syn: train of thought]

  4. the raised helical rib going around a screw [syn: screw thread]

  1. v. to move or cause to move in a sinuous, spiral, or circular course; "the river winds through the hills"; "the path meanders through the vineyards"; "sometimes, the gout wanders through the entire body" [syn: weave, wind, meander, wander]

  2. pass a thread through; "thread a needle"

  3. remove facial hair by tying a fine string around it and pulling at the string; "She had her eyebrows threaded"

  4. pass through or into; "thread tape"; "thread film"

  5. thread on or as if on a string; "string pearls on a string"; "the child drew glass beads on a string"; "thread dried cranberries" [syn: string, draw]


Thread or threads may refer to:

  • Thread (yarn), a kind of thin yarn used for sewing
  • Thread (unit of measurement), a cotton yarn measure
  • Screw thread, a spiral ridge on a cylindrical fastener
Thread (yarn)

Thread is a type of yarn used for sewing.

Thread (computing)

In computer science, a thread of execution is the smallest sequence of programmed instructions that can be managed independently by a scheduler, which is typically a part of the operating system. The implementation of threads and processes differs between operating systems, but in most cases a thread is a component of a process. Multiple threads can exist within one process, executing concurrently and sharing resources such as memory, while different processes do not share these resources. In particular, the threads of a process share its executable code and the values of its variables at any given time.

Systems with a single processor generally implement multithreading by time slicing: the central processing unit (CPU) switches between different software threads. This context switching generally happens very often and rapidly enough that users perceive the threads or tasks as running in parallel. On a multiprocessor or multi-core system, multiple threads can execute in parallel, with every processor or core executing a separate thread simultaneously; on a processor or core with hardware threads, separate software threads can also be executed concurrently by separate hardware threads.

Threads made an early appearance in OS/360 Multiprogramming with a Variable Number of Tasks (MVT) in 1967, in which context they were called "tasks". The term "thread" has been attributed to Victor A. Vyssotsky. Process schedulers of many modern operating systems directly support both time-sliced and multiprocessor threading, and the operating system kernel allows programmers to manipulate threads by exposing required functionality through the system call interface. Some threading implementations are called kernel threads, whereas light-weight processes (LWP) are a specific type of kernel thread that share the same state and information. Furthermore, programs can have user-space threads when threading with timers, signals, or other methods to interrupt their own execution, performing a sort of ad hoc time slicing.

Thread (network protocol)

Thread is an IPv6-based, closed-documentation (paid membership required for access to specifications) royalty-free networking protocol for Internet of Things (IoT) "smart" home automation devices to communicate on a local wireless mesh network.

In July 2014, the "Thread Group" alliance was announced, which today is a working group with the companies Nest Labs (a subsidiary of Alphabet/ Google), Samsung, ARM Holdings, Qualcomm, NXP Semiconductors/ Freescale, Silicon Labs, Big Ass Solutions, Somfy, OSRAM, Tyco International, and the lock company Yale in an attempt to have Thread become the industry standard by providing Thread certification for products.

Thread uses 6LoWPAN, which in turn uses the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless protocol with mesh communication, as does ZigBee and other systems. Thread however is IP-addressable, with cloud access and AES encryption. It currently supports up to 250 devices in one local network mesh.

An "AS IS" BSD licensed free and open-source implementation of Thread (called "OpenThread") has also been released by Nest.

Usage examples of "thread".

One corner of the bundle, wrapped solidly, had abraded to threads, but had not spoiled.

The delicate but immensely strong thread of love that binds an abused child to her abuser is only too clear.

Thus, all the while that Galileo was inventing modern physics, teaching mathematics to princes, discovering new phenomena among the planets, publishing science books for the general public, and defending his bold theories against establishment enemies, he was also buying thread for Suor Luisa, choosing organ music for Mother Achillea, shipping gifts of food, and supplying his homegrown citrus fruits, wine, and rosemary leaves for the kitchen and apothecary at San Matteo.

In the long run, continual contact with those threads might produce a certain adhesion and inconvenience the Spider, who must preserve all her agility in order to rush upon the prey before it can release itself.

Red Indian chief in full war- paint, the lined lips compressed to a thread, eyes wrinkled, nostrils aflare, and the whole face lit by so naked a passion of hate that I started.

The little masses of aggregated matter are of the most diversified shapes, often spherical or oval, sometimes much elongated, or quite irregular with thread or necklacelike or clubformed projections.

On the other side of the ridge fell a wide valley of bare turf, with the Aldern River threading through its center.

Holding his breath, Alec inched closer to the edge, trying to pick up the thread of the conversation.

Not the least curious part of this outcrop is the black thread of iron silicate which, broken in places, subtends it to the east: some specimens have geodes yielding brown powder, and venal cavities lined with botryoidal quartz of amethystine tinge.

From its chains dangled various chatelettes made from rustproof materials: brass scissors, a golden etui with a manicure set inside, a bodkin, a spoon, a vinaigrette, a needle-case, a small looking-glass, a cup-sized strainer for spike-leaves, a timepiece that had stopped, and whose case was inlaid with ivory and bronze, a workbox containing small reels of thread, an enameled porcelain thimble and a silver one, silver-handled buttonhooks and a few spare buttonsglass-topped, enclosing tiny picturesa miniature portrait of her mother worked in enamels, several rowan-wood tilhals, a highly ornamented anlace, a penknife, an empty silver-gilt snuff-box, and a pencil.

She wore a gown of purple camlet, worked cunningly with a pattern of gold thread, with a kirtle of armazine to fall from the veriest hint of a farthingale.

Brotherhood is that dark thread mortal men weave with Ath, the prime vibration, that creates self-punishment, or the root of guilt.

At each end the cell tapers to a point from which the sarcolemma appears to continue as a fine thread, and this, by attaching itself to the inclosing sheath, holds the cell in place.

He shoved his load of slates into the hands of the stupefied slave who followed him and, in atypical haste, threaded a path through a room suddenly filled with armed men.

Pushing past her pain, she focused her thoughts on sending her energy into the auric thread.