thread +‎ bare


threadbare (comparative more threadbare, superlative most threadbare)

  1. (of cloth) shabby, frayed and worn to an extent that warp threads show
    • (Can we date this quote?), Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
      Such threadbare coats and trousers, such fusty gowns and shawls, such squashed hats and bonnets, such boots and shoes, such umbrellas and walking-sticks, never were seen in Rag Fair.
    • 2014, Paul Salopek, Blessed. Cursed. Claimed., National Geographic (December 2014)[1]
      Unkempt, in threadbare clothes, with holed shoes and sun-cured hide, my costume is permanent: the traveler, the man from far away.
  2. damaged or shabby
    • (Can we date this quote by Thomas Carlyle and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Holy Virgin stood in the main Convent of Glatz, in rather a threadbare condition, when the Prussians first approached; the Jesuits, and ardently Orthodox of both sexes, flagitating Heaven and her with their prayers, that she would vouchsafe to keep the Prussians out.
  3. (of a person) wearing clothes of threadbare material
  4. banal or clichéd; trite or hackneyed
    • 2012 August 21, Jason Heller, “The Darkness: Hot Cakes (Music Review)”, in The Onion AV Club[2]:
      But with so many tired, lazy callbacks to its own threadbare catalog (including “Love Is Not The Answer,” a watery echo of the epic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” from 2003’s Permission To Land), Hot Cakes marks the point where The Darkness has stopped cannibalizing the golden age of stadium rock and simply started cannibalizing itself.