thread noun

1 piece of cotton, etc.

ADJ. strong | delicate, fine, fragile, thin | loose | matching | cotton, silk, etc. | embroidery, sewing | warp, weft

QUANT. length, piece

VERB + THREAD spin | catch, pull You've pulled a thread in your jumper.

PHRASES hanging by a thread (often figurative) The player's career is hanging by a thread after this latest injury to his knee.

2 connection between ideas, parts of a story, etc.

ADJ. central, main | common, connecting | consistent, continuous | narrative | loose Apart from one or two loose threads, the police now had the complete picture of what happened.

VERB + THREAD follow, trace I found it hard to follow the main thread of his argument. | lose The speaker lost his thread halfway through the talk. | keep She struggled against all the interruptions to keep the thread of her argument. | draw together, pick up, pull together, weave The author eventually picks up the various threads of the plot and weaves them into a masterly conclusion.

THREAD + VERB run through sth A continuous thread runs through all the versions of the legend. | emerge On studying the different historians' accounts, common threads emerge. | unravel As the film progresses, the threads of the plot slowly begin to unravel.