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Crossword clues for threadbare

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
threadbare/worn (=very thin and in bad condition)
▪ It was a dingy room with a threadbare carpet.
▪ his threadbare cotton shirt
▪ She stood shivering in her threadbare dress.
▪ There was a clean but threadbare rug on the floor beside the bed.
▪ Despite her bleak background and threadbare, Dickensian sartorial habits, she certainly transmits an aura of elegance and gentility.
▪ He was dressed in a scrupulously clean but threadbare dhoti and he wore a pale blue turban which exactly matched his eyes.
▪ Honor had written to ask for some threadbare rugs to be replaced.
▪ I preferred threadbare hand-me-downs to clothes that exuded boredom from every seam.
▪ Increasingly, threadbare public-school systems are turning to parents for goods and services that taxpayers have stopped providing.
▪ The sheets lay tangled, hanging down on the threadbare carpet.
▪ They basked like reptiles till the sun penetrated the threadbare material and warmed them into movement.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Threadbare \Thread"bare`\, a.

  1. Worn to the naked thread; having the nap worn off; threadbare clothes. ``A threadbare cope.''

  2. Fig.: Worn out; as, a threadbare subject; stale topics and threadbare quotations.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., from thread (n.) + bare. The notion is of "having the nap worn off," leaving bare the threads.


a. 1 (context of cloth English) shabby, frayed and worn to an extent that warp threads show 2 damaged or shabby 3 (context of a person English) wearing clothes of threadbare material 4 (context of speech English) banal or clichéd; trite or hackneyed

  1. adj. repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse; "bromidic sermons"; "his remarks were trite and commonplace"; "hackneyed phrases"; "a stock answer"; "repeating threadbare jokes"; "parroting some timeworn axiom"; "the trite metaphor `hard as nails'" [syn: banal, commonplace, hackneyed, old-hat, shopworn, stock(a), timeworn, tired, trite, well-worn]

  2. having the nap worn away so that the threads show through; "threadbare rugs"

Usage examples of "threadbare".

Many of the people afoot had worn and ragged coats, breeches out at the knee, dresses with tattered hems, and threadbare cloaks or none at all.

Phoebe Simms was not yet accoutred to appear as Madame Alp at intermission, but Florian and Fitzfarris decided that the triplets were worth displaying even in their duckling-looking garb of threadbare old homespun and big new shoes.

She did not stir even when he laid her on the angareb and covered her with the threadbare blanket.

Comandante Dictator-Designate Franco Milhous Caudillo wore a Ruritanian uniform, quite threadbare but encrusted with medals, tarnished gold braid, sashes, epaulets and crossed bandoliers full of spent cartridge cases.

In an alcove cluttered with piles of threadbare tapestry kneelers, tattered hymnals, even a battered piano, stood two tall cupboards.

Two or three went in loricated jerkins, one in a cuirass of boiled leather, another in an old, threadbare brigandine.

Victor Lutz watched the principal pace the threadbare carpet of his office with growing impatience.

The room itself was a press-wood furniture, threadbare sheets and mildewy carpet sort of place.

Everything was old, but not old enough for beauty: shabby furniture of last century, odds and ends of china, threadbare carpets, darned curtains, oleographs on the walls - a home carefully kept, but without comfort or grace.

Inti and his crew, who, following dinner, took a bottle of pisco, threadbare blankets, and the banana-splattered mosquito netting and disappeared into the bush.

The now rustless battle weapons hanging from the walls had been polished to a fine sheen, but the few tapestries and banners which lined the walls drooped threadbare with age and neglect.

The wind scrabbled curiously at his threadbare black clothing, seeking to touch the thin flesh stretched tight over his ribs.

Relying on the anarchy in France and his arrangements with the Duke of Burgundy, and hoping by military successes to unite the English behind the house of Lancaster, Henry V took up the old war and the threadbare claim to the French crown which had not gained in validity by passing to him through a usurper.

Blood spotted the sheet over him and blotched the rags thrown down near a water pitcher not far away, and the threadbare nightshirt he wore was damp with sweat.

The threadbare white towels were designed for midgets, but she still felt marginally more human by the time she stepped back into the room, clean underwear and a silk bathrobe wrapped securely around her still-damp body.