Thread Thread (thr[e^]d), n. [OE. threed, [thorn]red, AS. [thorn]r[=ae]d; akin to D. draad, G. draht wire, thread, OHG. dr[=a]t, Icel. [thorn]r[=a][eth]r a thread, Sw. tr[*a]d, Dan. traad, and AS. [thorn]r[=a]wan to twist. See Throw, and cf. Third.] 1. A very small twist of flax, wool, cotton, silk, or other fibrous substance, drawn out to considerable length; a compound cord consisting of two or more single yarns doubled, or joined together, and twisted. 2. A filament, as of a flower, or of any fibrous substance, as of bark; also, a line of gold or silver. 3. The prominent part of the spiral of a screw or nut; the rib. See Screw, n., 1. 4. Fig.: Something continued in a long course or tenor; a,s the thread of life, or of a discourse. --Bp. Burnet. 5. Fig.: Composition; quality; fineness. [Obs.] A neat courtier, Of a most elegant thread. --B. Jonson. Air thread, the fine white filaments which are seen floating in the air in summer, the production of spiders; gossamer. Thread and thrum, the good and bad together. [Obs.] --Shak. Thread cell (Zo["o]l.), a lasso cell. See under Lasso. Thread herring (Zo["o]l.), the gizzard shad. See under Gizzard. Thread lace, lace made of linen thread. Thread needle, a game in which children stand in a row, joining hands, and in which the outer one, still holding his neighbor, runs between the others; -- called also thread the needle.