Definition of threadbare in US English:

threadbare

adjective

  • 1(of cloth, clothing, or soft furnishings) becoming thin and tattered with age.

    ‘shabby rooms with threadbare carpets’
    • ‘Their great old houses overflow with rough medieval furniture, threadbare tapestries and religious relics worn smooth by the touch of generations.’
    • ‘I had two dresses, one nightgown, three pair of undergarments and a thin, threadbare cloak.’
    • ‘Underneath were pictures of dockers' children in threadbare clothes.’
    • ‘The wind was bitter against his bare legs and feet, and it tore straight through his threadbare clothing.’
    • ‘He frequently appeared in a threadbare and ragged cloak.’
    • ‘Both our little beds are a mishmash of sheets and blankets and threadbare pillows and the floor is covered in our old sports trophies and other such junk.’
    • ‘The grey carpets were threadbare and the furniture was falling apart.’
    • ‘It has high filigreed ceilings and threadbare carpet, a winding native wood staircase, cracked stained glass.’
    • ‘Much more needs to be done if the already rickety and threadbare credibility of the Church is ever going to be restored.’
    • ‘But his eyes were still bright, and his threadbare old khaki police uniform shirt still bore his many medals.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, it is a greatly-crafted piece, but due to the formula being recycled continuously since its original appearance, the messages are now somewhat threadbare, causing the play to lose its potency.’
    • ‘The bedding was threadbare, but freshly laundered and the floor appeared to have been fitted with a new carpet.’
    • ‘The bed had a thick straw pallet for mattress, and the sheets were threadbare and grubby, but they had slept on worse.’
    • ‘The tables were chipped, the carpet is threadbare, the seats have lost all their padding and comfort.’
    • ‘The threadbare carpets were covered by cheap rugs.’
    • ‘Christian conservatism and hysterical anti-communism formed the parties' threadbare ideological framework and served to counterbalance various interests.’
    • ‘She stopped, then slowly walked over to stand in the middle of the large, round room, looking down at the threadbare rug.’
    • ‘He was issued with a thin mat and a threadbare blanket and taken to the cell block.’
    • ‘She wrapped her inadequate, threadbare cape more securely around herself and pulled the hood down a little more to keep out the biting wind.’
    • ‘The cap is certainly too threadbare to be a public appearance prop.’
    worn, well worn, old, thin, worn out, holey, moth-eaten, mangy, ragged, frayed, tattered, battered
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a person, building, or room) poor or shabby in appearance.
      • ‘His friends treated his threadbare bachelor apartment as a virtual drop-in centre.’
      • ‘My room is pretty threadbare right now, but Rebecca promised that tomorrow we will go buy furniture for me.’
      • ‘But the room wasn't sad and threadbare, it was full of people.’
      • ‘The film is set in a threadbare Australian ski resort at the fag-end of winter, well past the postcard stage.’
      • ‘Raised in Cardonald, Glasgow, Mullan and his seven siblings were working class misfits in a grand but threadbare rented house.’
      • ‘There is nothing grim or threadbare about either the building nor the attitude.’
      • ‘Once healthy, rich and famous, he now lives in a threadbare apartment, forced to sell his sporting trophies to feed his drug habit.’
      • ‘You can rent rustic cabins with great views; while some are a bit threadbare, they are all charming.’
      • ‘Sorry, but even in summer it feels a bit chilly there, like a threadbare university club that only charter members find cozy.’
      • ‘Bangkok has dozens of rather dreary, threadbare hotels in the £10 - £30 range, while below and above that you can really get good value.’
      • ‘As I raced back to the threadbare offices, where we tapped out stories on half-sheets of paper hunched over manual typewriters, my adrenaline was pumping.’
    2. 1.2 (of an argument, excuse, idea, etc.) used so often that it is no longer effective.
      ‘the song was a tissue of threadbare clichés’
      • ‘The credibility of two of the leading actors of American monetary policy today is somewhat threadbare, to say the least.’
      • ‘I have spoken to three QCs involved in the hearings, and one has stated that he found some key pieces of evidence threadbare of credibility.’
      • ‘In promoting these illusions, Mr Latham is accepting the threadbare propaganda of the neo-liberal social agenda.’
      • ‘What we're left with is a threadbare story and a child who won't stop singing At the top of her voice All the time.’
      • ‘But on close inspection the Brown plans look pretty threadbare anyway.’
      • ‘The allegations against Wahid were always threadbare pretexts for his removal from office.’
      • ‘His threadbare case further exposed the shabby deal.’
      • ‘Devoid of Shane Julian and with Paul McDonald placed at midfield their defence was threadbare.’
      • ‘The clever, jazz-tinged arrangement of New Bond Street makes up for its threadbare lyrics.’
      • ‘The democratic pretences of the opposition have always been threadbare.’
      • ‘Sometimes this tale of interrupted promise swung on pitifully threadbare evidence.’
      • ‘The pose of disbelief is all the more threadbare given the facts on the ground in Iraq after more than three months of US military occupation.’
      • ‘There is little a performer can do with such threadbare material.’
      • ‘Previous claims that the restoration of capitalism in the former USSR would bring democracy in its wake now look increasingly threadbare.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the Cole royal commission may also end up the perfect mechanism for destroying the already threadbare authority of royal commissions.’
      • ‘In the scramble to balance the books, the already threadbare provision for non-critical cases could be stripped away.’
      • ‘At some point, though, the formula began to grow threadbare.’
      • ‘Hanford Burr's "Around the Fire" stories never grow old or threadbare.’
      • ‘Initially, capitalist market conditions were introduced into Russia under a somewhat threadbare banner of " democracy ".’
      • ‘The language of artistic value has become threadbare.’

Pronunciation

threadbare

/ˈθrɛdbɛr//ˈTHredber/