American English

Definition of tread verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tread
    he / she / it treads
    past simple trod
    past simple treaded past participle trodden
    past participle trod
    past participle treaded -ing form treading
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  1. 1[intransitive] tread (on/in/over something/somebody) (old-fashioned) to put your foot down while you are stepping or walking Careful you don't tread in that puddle.
  2. 2[transitive] tread something (+ adv./prep.) to crush or press something with your feet synonym trample The wine is still made by treading grapes in the traditional way.
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] tread (something) (formal or literary) to walk somewhere Few people had trod this path before. He was treading quietly and cautiously.
  4. Idioms
    fools rush in (where angels fear to tread) (saying)
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    people with little experience try to do the difficult or dangerous things that more experienced people would not consider doing
    tread carefully, warily, etc.
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    to be very careful about what you do or say The administration will have to tread very carefully in handling this issue.
    tread a difficult, dangerous, solitary, etc. path
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    to choose and follow a particular way of life, way of doing something, etc. A restaurant has to tread the tricky path between maintaining quality and keeping prices down.
    tread/walk a tightrope
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    to be in a difficult situation in which you do not have much freedom of action and need to be extremely careful about what you do The government is walking a difficult tightrope in wanting to reduce interest rates without pushing up inflation.
      tread water
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    1. 1to keep yourself vertical in deep water by moving your arms and legs
    2. 2to make no progress while you are waiting for something to happen I decided to tread water until a better job came along.
    walk/tread a fine/thin line
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    to be in a difficult or dangerous situation where you could easily make a mistake He was walking a fine line between being funny and being rude.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: tread