thread

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thread and thrum

A combination of good and bad. "Thrum" are the bits of thread left on the loom after a finished item has been removed. I know you're disappointed with your minor role in the play, but at least you get to act—you have to accept the thread and thrum.
See also: and, thread

thread the needle

1. To insert thread through the eye of a needle. You'll need to thread the needle before you can start sewing.
2. To pass something through a narrow space between two things. The quarterback really threaded the needle with that pass between two defenders.
3. A children's game in which the participants stand in a line and hold hands. The person at the end of the line then ducks under the others' linked arms, pulling the rest of the line along with him or her. Come on, we're playing thread the needle!
See also: needle, thread

common thread

An idea or theme that is consistently present in several different areas or things. What is the common thread in these three novels?
See also: common, thread

pick up the threads (of something)

1. To begin doing something again after it had previously been stopped or on hiatus. The author states that the novel is an attempt to pick up the threads of an unfinished manuscript found in his late father's desk drawer.
2. To try and return something to normal after a very bad experience interrupts it. We've all been trying to pick up the threads of our lives after the economic crash.
See also: pick, thread, up

hang by a thread

To be perilously close to failing, dying, or resulting in a bad outcome. After the loss, their chances of getting into the championships are hanging by a thread. Her life hung by a thread as medics rushed her to the hospital.
See also: hang, thread

lose the thread

To stop understanding or following something, such as an explanation, because one has become distracted or confused. Sorry, can you back up? I lost the thread when you started talking about genes. I think this writer is trying to intentionally make us lose the thread so that the story becomes disorientating.
See also: lose, thread

common thread (to all this)

Fig. a similar idea or pattern to a series of events. All of these incidents are related. There is a common thread to all this.
See also: common, thread

hang by a hair

 and hang by a thread 
1. Lit. to hang by something very thin, such as a thread or a hair. The tiniest part of the mobile hung by a thread, the rest are on plastic cords.
2. and hang on by a hair; hang on by a thread Fig. to depend on something very insubstantial; to hang in the balance. Your whole argument is hanging by a thread. John isn't failing geometry, but his passing grade is just hanging by a hair.
See also: hair, hang

thread one's way through something

Fig. to make a path for oneself through a crowded area; to make one's way carefully through a crowded area. The spy threaded his way through the crowd. The bicyclists threaded their way through the cars stopped in traffic.
See also: thread, through, way

thread through something

Fig. to travel through a crowded area; to move carefully through an area where there are many obstacles. The spy threaded through the crowd at the palace. The joggers threaded through the shoppers on the sidewalks.
See also: thread, through

hang by a thread

Also, hang by a hair. Be in a risky or unstable situation, as in His promotion was hanging by a thread, or With the lead actor sick, the success of our play hung by a hair. This expression, already proverbial in the early 1500s, alludes to Damocles, who vexed King Dionysius with constant flattery. The king invited him to a banquet where Damocles found himself seated under a naked sword suspended by a single hair, symbolizing his insecure position at the court.
See also: hang, thread

lose the thread

Cease to follow the sense of what is said. For example, It was such a long story that I soon lost the thread. This expression uses thread in the sense of "something that connects the various points of a narrative." [Mid-1900s]
See also: lose, thread

hang by a thread

1. If something hangs by a thread, it is very likely to fail, although it has not failed yet. It's clear that the ceasefire is hanging by a thread. England's World Cup hopes hang by a thread and they must now rely on the results of the others in their group going their way.
2. If someone's life hangs by a thread, they are seriously ill and are very likely to die. His kidneys had failed and his life was hanging by a thread. Note: This expression may relate to the story of the Sword of Damocles: see the explanation at `sword'.
See also: hang, thread

pick up the threads

resume something that has been interrupted.
See also: pick, thread, up

hang by a thread

be in a highly precarious state.
See also: hang, thread

lose the (or your) thread

be unable to follow what someone is saying or remember what you are going to say next.
See also: lose, thread

lose the ˈdrift/ˈthread of something

be unable to follow a story, discussion, etc. because you cannot understand the relationship between events, facts, etc: I had to go out in the middle of the film and when I came back I found I’d lost the thread entirely.When they started talking about artificial intelligence, I completely lost the drift of the argument.
See also: drift, lose, of, something, thread

hang by a ˈthread/ˈhair

be in a very uncertain situation: After the operation, his life hung by a thread for several hours.The future of this company hangs by a thread. Unless we get two or three big orders by the end of the month, we’re finished.
See also: hair, hang, thread

the loose ˈends/ˈthreads

the minor details of something which have still not been dealt with or explained: We’ve almost finished the report. There are just a few loose ends to tie up and then it’ll be ready.It’s a very unsatisfactory detective story. You know who committed the murder, but there are far too many loose ends.
A loose end/thread is the end of a piece of string or thread that is not tied to anything else.
See also: end, loose, thread

pick up the ˈthreads

start something, for example an activity, a relationship, a career, again after a break: It’s not easy for women returning to work to pick up the threads of their earlier careers.
See also: pick, thread, up

thread your way through (something)

move through a place by moving round and between people or things: I threaded my way through the busy streets.
See also: thread, through, way

threads

n. clothing. When’d you get new threads, man?
See also: thread
References in periodicals archive ?
To force aspiring eyebrow threaders to spend as much as $9,000 on 750 hours of pointless training in order to obtain a pointless license is practically the definition of unnecessary government.
Later in 2009, Patel joined five threaders and two threading business owners in a lawsuit claiming that the regulations have hurt their ability to do business in Texas.
But threaders and threading business owners say the regulations force threaders to go through months of cosmetology training that often doesn't include training specific to their trade.
That the state isn't bothering to instruct people how to thread, but it's making threaders nevertheless jump through this regulatory hoop with no intended public benefit.
Included in each kit are eight colors of wool yarns, cross-stitch fabric, metal needle and needle threaders, illustrated instructions and pattern and design ideas.
The wire has a high tensile strength making it ideal for new machines with auto-threaders, and older style machines without threaders, and is available on both P and Din style spools.