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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

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

to be in danger of having something unlucky or bad happen Roberta was told that her job hung by a thread, and she needed to be more serious about it. For several days after the accident, his life hung by a thread.
See also: hang, thread

lose the thread (of something)

to not be able to understand what someone is saying because you are not giving it all your attention Jeb wasn't listening at all and lost the thread of what his father was saying.
See also: lose, thread

hang by a thread

if something hangs by a thread, it is likely to fail in the near future Peace and democracy hang by a thread in this troubled country.
See also: hang, thread

lose the thread

to stop understanding something someone says or something you are reading because it is too complicated or because you cannot concentrate When he started quoting Martin Luther King, I completely lost the thread of his argument.
See also: lose, thread

pick up the threads of something

to try to start something again, especially after problems prevented you from continuing it In '97, I came out of prison and tried to pick up the threads of my life.
See also: of, pick, thread, up

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


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.