Pronunciation Verb

tread (treads, present participle treading; past trod, past participle trod)

  1. (intransitive) To step or walk (on or over something); to trample.
    He trod back and forth wearily.
    Don't tread on the lawn.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Joshua 14:9 ↗:
      And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet haue troden, shall be thine inheritance, and thy childrens for euer, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God.
  2. (transitive) To step or walk upon.
    Actors tread the boards.
  3. To beat or press with the feet.
    to tread a path; to tread land when too light; a well-trodden path
  4. To go through or accomplish by walking, dancing, etc.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “The Knight of Malta”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 5, scene 2:
      I am resolved to forsake Malta, tread a pilgrimage to fair Jerusalem.
    • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “Loues Labour’s Lost”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
      They have measured many a mile, / To tread a measure with you on this grass.
  5. To crush under the foot; to trample in contempt or hatred; to subdue.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Psalms 44:5 ↗:
      Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
  6. (intransitive) To copulate; said of (especially male) birds.
  7. (transitive, of a male bird) To copulate with.
Translations Translations Noun

tread (plural treads)

  1. A step taken with the foot.
  2. A manner of stepping.
    • 1855, Alfred Tennyson, “(please specify the page number(s))”, in Maud, and Other Poems, London: Edward Moxon, […], OCLC 1013215631 ↗:
      She is coming, my own, my sweet; / Were it ever so airy a tread, / My heart would hear her and beat.
  3. The sound made when someone or something is walking.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
      The steps fell lightly and oddly, with a certain swing, for all they went so slowly; it was different indeed from the heavy creaking tread of Henry Jekyll. Utterson sighed. "Is there never anything else?" he asked.
    • 1896, Bret Harte, Barker's Luck and Other Stories
      But when, after a singularly heavy tread and the jingle of spurs on the platform, the door flew open to the newcomer, he seemed a realization of our worst expectations.
  4. (obsolete) A way; a track or path.
  5. The horizontal part of a step in a flight of stairs.
  6. The grooves carved into the face of a tire, used to give the tire traction. [from 1900s]
  7. The grooves on the bottom of a shoe or other footwear, used to give grip or traction.
  8. (biology) The chalaza of a bird's egg; the treadle.
  9. The act of avian copulation in which the male bird mounts the female by standing on her back.
  10. (fortification) The top of the banquette, on which soldiers stand to fire over the parapet.
  11. A bruise or abrasion produced on the foot or ankle of a horse that interferes, or strikes its feet together.
  • (horizontal part of a step) run
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: profil de semelle
  • German: Profil, Laufsohle

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