What does threadbare mean?

Definitions for threadbare

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word threadbare.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. banal, commonplace, hackneyed, old-hat, shopworn, stock(a), threadbare, timeworn, tired, trite, well-wornadjective

    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'"

  2. threadbareadjective

    having the nap worn away so that the threads show through

    "threadbare rugs"


  1. threadbareadjective

    shabby, frayed and worn to an extent that warp threads show

  2. threadbareadjective

    wearing clothes of threadbare material

  3. threadbareadjective

    banal or clichéd; trite or hackneyed

  4. Etymology: thread + bare

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Threadbareadjective

    Etymology: thread and bare.

    Threadbare coat, and cobbled shoes he ware. Fa. Qu.

    The clothier means to dress the commonwealth, and set a new nap upon it: so he had need; for ’tis threadbare. William Shakespeare.

    Will any freedom here from you be borne,
    Whose cloaths are threadbare, and whose cloaks are torn? John Dryden, Juvenal.

    He walk’d the streets, and wore a threadbare cloak;
    He din’d and supp’d at charge of other folk. Jonathan Swift.

    A hungry lean-fac’d villain,
    A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
    A threadbare juggler, and a fortune-teller. William Shakespeare.

    Many writers of moral discourses run into stale topicks and threadbare quotations, not handling their subject fully and closely. Jonathan Swift.

    If he understood trade, he would not have mentioned this threadbare and exploded project. Josiah Child, on Trade.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Threadbareadjective

    worn to the naked thread; having the nap worn off; threadbare clothes

  2. Threadbareadjective

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

How to pronounce threadbare?

How to say threadbare in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of threadbare in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of threadbare in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of threadbare in a Sentence

  1. Norman Douglas:

    What is all wisdom save a collection of platitudes. Take fifty of our current proverbial sayings-- they are so trite, so threadbare. None the less they embody the concentrated experience of the race, and the man who orders his life according to their teachings cannot be far wrong. Has any man ever attained to inner harmony by pondering the experience of others? Not since the world began! He must pass through fire.

  2. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:

    The U.S. needs to view regional issues more seriously than raise baseless and threadbare allegations against Iran, mr. Kerry should ask U.S. allies where the Islamic State’s arms come from.

  3. Scott C. Holstad:

    War is the true Nature of the world, a dog with matted fur lapping eagerly at the bloody Nile, wagging its threadbare tail the entire time.

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Translations for threadbare

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"threadbare." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/threadbare>.

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    an impression that something might be the case
    • A. whitewash
    • B. pluck
    • C. breastwork
    • D. hunch

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