- 1[intransitive] tread (on/in/over something/somebody) (especially British English) to put your foot down while you are stepping or walking Ouch! You trod on my toe! Careful you don't tread in that puddle.
- 2[transitive] tread something (+ adv./prep.) to crush or press something with your feet synonym trample Don't tread ash into the carpet! The wine is still made by treading grapes in the traditional way.
- 3[transitive, intransitive] tread (something) (formal or literary) to walk somewhere Few people had trod this path before. He was treading quietly and cautiously. Word Origin Old English tredan (as a verb), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch treden and German treten.Extra examples Be careful not to tread on the flowers. Billy trod in a big puddle. He came down the stairs, treading as heavily as he could. She planted the seeds and trod the earth down. She trod gingerly. It would be risky to hurry. Some cake crumbs had been trodden into the carpet. The government will have to tread carefully in handling this issue. Careful you don’t tread in that puddle. We must tread carefully —we don’t want to offend anyone.Idioms (saying) people with little experience try to do the difficult or dangerous things which more experienced people would not consider doing to be very careful about what you do or say The government will have to tread very carefully in handling this issue. 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. to follow somebody closely
- 1to keep yourself vertical in deep water by moving your arms and legs
- 2to make no progress while you are waiting for something to happen I decided to tread water until a better job came along.
BrE BrE//tred//; NAmE NAmE//tred//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tread
BrE BrE//tred//; NAmE NAmE//tred//he / she / it treads
BrE BrE//tredz//; NAmE NAmE//tredz//past simple trod
BrE BrE//trɒd//; NAmE NAmE//trɑːd//past participle trodden
BrE BrE//ˈtrɒdn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtrɑːdn//past participle trod
BrE BrE//trɒd//; NAmE NAmE//trɑːd//-ing form treading
BrE BrE//ˈtredɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtredɪŋ//
(informal) to offend or annoy somebody, especially by getting involved in something that is their responsibility I don’t want to tread on anybody’s toes so I’ll keep quiet. 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.