thread through

thread through (something)

1. To cause something to pass through some small opening or passage in the manner of thread being passed through the eye of a needle. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "thread" and "through." You'll have to thread this wire through a tiny eyelet near the mainframe. Start threading the film through the slot in the machine, and it will automatically begin spooling it for you.
2. To move or traverse through some place that is crowded with people or things. The criminal threaded through the throng of tourists on the boardwalk to escape the police officer who was following him. I had to thread through the cluttered warehouse to find my way to the shelves in the back.
See also: thread, through
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Accompanied by a select number of officers of the court, among whom were the two honest men who had already admired the cloth, he went to the crafty impostors, who, as soon as they were aware of the Emperor's approach, went on working more diligently than ever; although they still did not pass a single thread through the looms.