1. To set the foot; to step. "Where'er you tread, the blushing flowers shall rise." (Pope) "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." (Pope) "The hard stone Under our feet, on which we tread and go." (Chaucer)
3. To copulate; said of birds, especially. The males. To tread on or upon. To trample; to set the foot on in contempt. "Thou shalt tread upon their high places." . To follow closely. "Year treads on year." . To tread upon the heels of, to follow close upon. "Dreadful consequences that tread upon the heels of those allowances to sin." "One woe doth tread upon another's heel." (Shak)
Origin: OE. Treden, AS. Tredan; akin to OFries. Treda, OS. Tredan, D. & LG. Treden, G. Treten, OHG. Tretan, Icel. Troa, Sw. Trada, trada, Dan. Traede, Goth. Trudan, and perhaps ultimately to F. Tramp; cf. Gr. A running, Skr. Dram to run. Cf. Trade, Tramp, Trot.
3. To go through or accomplish by walking, dancing, or the like. " I am resolved to forsake Malta, tread a pilgrimage to fair Jerusalem." "They have measured many a mile, To tread a measure with you on this grass." (Shak)
5. To copulate with; to feather; to cover; said of the male bird. To tread out, to press out with the feet; to press out, as wine or wheat; as, to tread out grain with cattle or horses. To tread the stage, to act as a stageplayer; to perform a part in a drama.
1. A step or stepping; pressure with the foot; a footstep; as, a nimble tread; a cautious tread. "She is coming, my own, my sweet; Were it ever so airy a tread, My heart would hear her and beat." (Tennyson)
(01 Mar 1998)
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