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Related to Treading: treading water


v. trod (trŏd) or treaded, trod·den (trŏd′n) or trod or treaded, tread·ing, treads
1. To walk on, over, or along: tread the pavement.
2. To press beneath the feet; trample: dirt that was trodden into the rug.
3. To treat unjustly or harshly; oppress: people who were trodden down by tyrants.
4. To form by walking or trampling: tread a path.
5. To execute by walking or dancing: tread a measure.
6. To copulate with. Used of a male bird.
a. To go on foot; walk.
b. To set down the foot; step.
a. To trample something. Used with on or upon: Don't tread on the new grass.
b. To treat someone or something unjustly or harshly. Used with on or upon: a regime treading upon the rights of the citizens.
3. To copulate. Used of birds.
a. The act, manner, or sound of treading.
b. An instance of treading; a step.
c. A mark made by treading, as in snow.
2. The upper horizontal part of a step in a staircase.
a. The part of a wheel or tire that makes contact with the road or rails.
b. The grooved face of a tire.
4. The part of a shoe sole that touches the ground.
5. Either of the continuous ridged belts with which bulldozers, tanks, and certain other vehicles move over the ground.
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).
tread water
1. To keep the head above water while in an upright position by pumping the legs.
2. To expend effort but make little or no progress to achievement of a goal or an end.

[Middle English treden, from Old English tredan.]

tread′less adj.


Threshing by walking animals, usually horses, over the heads of grain such as wheat or oats.
References in classic literature ?
Poverty, treading closely at her heels for a lifetime, has come up with her at last.
Be that as it might, the scaffold of the pillory was a point of view that revealed to Hester Prynne the entire track along which she had been treading, since her happy infancy.
Tierce after tierce, too, of water, and bread, and beef, and shooks of staves, and iron bundles of hoops, were hoisted out, till at last the piled decks were hard to get about; and the hollow hull echoed under foot, as if you were treading over empty catacombs, and reeled and rolled in the sea like an air-freighted demijohn.
I say, Jerry," said the governor, "you are treading pretty hard on my toes, you know; I'm not so good as you are, more shame to me; I wish I was.
The landlord was all obsequious, and a relay of about seven negroes, old and young, male and female, little and big, were soon whizzing about, like a covey of partridges, bustling, hurrying, treading on each other's toes, and tumbling over each other, in their zeal to get Mas'r's room ready, while he seated himself easily on a chair in the middle of the room, and entered into conversation with the man who sat next to him.
It was a pine wood, with so thick and soft a carpet of brown needles that one's footfall made no more sound than if he were treading on wool; the tree-trunks were as round and straight and smooth as pillars, and stood close together; they were bare of branches to a point about twenty-five feet above-ground, and from there upward so thick with boughs that not a ray of sunlight could pierce through.
John's directions; and in ten minutes I was treading the wild track of the glen, side by side with him.
When the sisters were treading the neatly-swept garden-walks, between the bright turf that contrasted pleasantly with the dark cones and arches and wall-like hedges of yew, Priscilla said--
How eagerly he had trodden the very turf I was treading,--we never know at what moment we are treading sacred earth
At last his Sail-broad Vannes He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoak Uplifted spurns the ground, thence many a League As in a cloudy Chair ascending rides Audacious, but that seat soon failing, meets A vast vacuitie: all unawares Fluttring his pennons vain plumb down he drops Ten thousand fadom deep, and to this hour Down had been falling, had not by ill chance The strong rebuff of som tumultuous cloud Instinct with Fire and Nitre hurried him As many miles aloft: that furie stay'd, Quencht in a Boggie SYRTIS, neither Sea, Nor good dry Land: nigh founderd on he fares, Treading the crude consistence, half on foot, Half flying; behoves him now both Oare and Saile.
Two yards from the door, at the head of this stair, is an opening nearly east, accessible by treading on the ledge of the wall, which diminishes eight inches each story ; and this last opening leads into a room or chapel ten feet by twelve, and fifteen or sixteen high, arched with free-stone, and supported by small circular columns of the same, the capitals and arches Saxon.
The ship was talking, as sailors say, loudly, treading the innumerable ripples with an incessant weltering splash; and until I got my eye above the window-sill I could not comprehend why the watchmen had taken no alarm.