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Definitions by Wordnik

  1. (verb-transitive) To walk on, over, or along.
  2. (verb-transitive) To press beneath the feet; trample.
  3. (verb-transitive) To subdue harshly or cruelly; crush.
  4. (verb-transitive) To form by walking or trampling: tread a path.
  5. (verb-transitive) To execute by walking or dancing: tread a measure.
  6. (verb-transitive) To copulate with. Used of a male bird.
  7. (verb-intransitive) To go on foot; walk.
  8. (verb-intransitive) To set down the foot; step.
  9. (verb-intransitive) To press, crush, or injure something by or as if by trampling. Often used with on or upon: trod on her feelings.
  10. (verb-intransitive) To copulate. Used of birds.
  11. (noun) The act, manner, or sound of treading.
  12. (noun) An instance of treading; a step.
  13. (noun) A mark made by treading, as in snow.
  14. (noun) The upper horizontal part of a step in a staircase.
  15. (noun) The part of a wheel or tire that makes contact with the road or rails.
  16. (noun) The grooved face of a tire.
  17. (noun) The part of a shoe sole that touches the ground.
  18. (noun) Either of the continuous metal belts with which bulldozers, tanks, and certain other vehicles move over the ground.
  19. (idiom) tread the boards To act on the stage: "We who tread the boards are not the only players of parts in this world” ( John Fowles).
  20. (idiom) tread water To keep the head above water while in an upright position by pumping the legs.
  21. (idiom) tread water To expend effort but make little or no progress to achievement of a goal or an end.

Examples by Wordnik

  1. Oxford English Dictionary traces the expression "tread upon eggs" back to the 1700s, when someone named Roger North wrote: "This gave him occasion ... to find if any slip had been made for he all along trod upon eggs." - The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed
  2. And this tread is about all types of political topics. - Think Progress » ThinkFast: February 18, 2010
  3. It was what we call a tread-snail, because it moves on a double row of pads like stumpy feet and leaves a trail like a tractor. - Four-Day Planet
  4. (on camera) During the planning for Iraq, some Pentagon civilians complained what they call tread-heads in the Army were pushing the old heavy force doctrine. - CNN Transcript May 26, 2003
  5. If you drive down the road and the tread is worn, when you hit a puddle of water, the car can aquaplane. - Club grooves limitation sought


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