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.
2. A filament, as of a flower, or of any fibrous substance, as of bark; also, a line of gold or silver.
3. The prominent part of the spiral of a screw or nut; the rib. See Screw.
4. Something continued in a long course or tenor; a,s the thread of life, or of a discourse.
5. Composition; quality; fineness. A neat courtier, Of a most elegant thread. (B. Jonson) 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.
(Science: zoology) Thread cell, the gizzard shad. See 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.
Origin: OE. Threed, red, AS. Rd; akin to D. Draad, G. Draht wire, thread, OHG. Drat, Icel. Rar a thread, Sw. Trad, Dan. Traad, and AS. Rawan to twist. See Throw, and cf. Third.