1) ADJ-GRADED Threadbare clothes, carpets, and other pieces of cloth look old, dull, and very thin, because they have been worn or used too much.

She sat cross-legged on a square of threadbare carpet.

2) ADJ-GRADED If you describe an activity, an idea, or an argument as threadbare, you mean that it is very weak, or inadequate, or old and no longer interesting.

...the government's threadbare domestic policies.

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Threadbare — Thread bare , a. 1. Worn to the naked thread; having the nap worn off; threadbare clothes. A threadbare cope. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. Fig.: Worn out; as, a threadbare subject; stale topics and threadbare quotations. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • threadbare — [thred′ber΄] adj. 1. worn down so that the threads show; having the nap or surface fibers worn off [threadbare rugs] 2. wearing old, worn clothes; shabby 3. that has lost freshness or novelty; stale [a threadbare argument] …   English World dictionary

  • threadbare — [adj1] worn, frayed beat up*, damaged, dilapidated, dingy, dog eared, downat the heel*, faded, frowzy*, impaired, injured, old, ragged, ratty*, run down, scruffy, seedy, shabby, shopworn, tacky, tattered, timeworn, used, used up, worn out, worse… …   New thesaurus

  • threadbare — index trite Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • threadbare — mid 14c., from THREAD (Cf. thread) + BARE (Cf. bare). The notion is of having the nap worn off, leaving bare the threads …   Etymology dictionary

  • threadbare — 1 *shabby, dilapidated, dingy, faded, seedy Analogous words: damaged, injured, impaired (see INJURE): worn (see HAGGARD) 2 shopworn, *trite, hackneyed, stereotyped Analogous words: antiquated, obsolete, archaic (see OLD): exhausted, depleted,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • threadbare — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ thin and tattered with age; worn out …   English terms dictionary

  • threadbare — adjective Date: 14th century 1. a. having the nap worn off so that the thread shows ; shabby < threadbare clothes > b. wearing threadbare clothing ; very poor < took in threadbare relatives Russell Baker > c. barely adequate because of cheapness… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • threadbare — threadbareness, n. /thred bair /, adj. 1. having the nap worn off so as to lay bare the threads of the warp and woof, as a fabric, garment, etc. 2. wearing threadbare clothes; shabby or poor: a threadbare old man. 3. meager, scanty, or poor: a… …   Universalium

  • threadbare — thread|bare [ θred,ber ] adjective 1. ) threadbare clothing, carpet, or cloth is very thin and almost has holes in it because it has been worn or used a lot a ) wearing or containing threadbare things: the threadbare family apartment 2. ) a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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