• IPA: /ˈθɹɛdbɛə(ɹ)/


  1. (of cloth) shabby, frayed and worn to an extent that warp threads show
    • , Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
      Such threadbare coats and trousers, such fusty gowns and shawls, such squashed hats and bonnets, such boots and shoes, such umbrellas and walking-sticks, never were seen in Rag Fair.
    • 2014, Paul Salopek, Blessed. Cursed. Claimed., National Geographic (December 2014)
      Unkempt, in threadbare clothes, with holed shoes and sun-cured hide, my costume is permanent: the traveler, the man from far away.
  2. damaged or shabby
    • Holy Virgin stood in the main Convent of Glatz, in rather a threadbare condition, when the Prussians first approached; the Jesuits, and ardently Orthodox of both sexes, flagitating Heaven and her with their prayers, that she would vouchsafe to keep the Prussians out.
  3. (of a person) wearing clothes of threadbare material
  4. banal or clichéd; trite or hackneyed
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