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Threadbare   Listen
adjective
Threadbare  adj.  
1.
Worn to the naked thread; having the nap worn off; threadbare clothes. "A threadbare cope."
2.
Fig.: Worn out; as, a threadbare subject; stale topics and threadbare quotations.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Threadbare" Quotes from Famous Books



... truth is, that in a time which might have been anarchical, we lived on the fruits of a long-established order; and it is fair to add that at the end of thirteen months there were no visible symptoms that discipline was wearing threadbare. ...
— Uppingham by the Sea - a Narrative of the Year at Borth • John Henry Skrine

... gates of the house of Justice. It was intensely cold; a bitter north-easterly gale was blowing from across the heights of Montmartre, driving sleet and snow and half-frozen rain into the faces of the men, and finding its way up their sleeves, down their collars and round the knees of their threadbare breeches. ...
— El Dorado • Baroness Orczy

... eyes had taken in all the dainty details of gloves, tiny chatelaine watch, and neat school satchel out of which protruded green and brown books. With a fierce little gesture the Other Girl had slid her own hands under her threadbare jacket. They were ...
— Glory and the Other Girl • Annie Hamilton Donnell

... accused man's appearance. Apparently about thirty years of age, spare of figure, clean-shaven, of a decidedly intellectual type of countenance, he looked like an actor. His much-worn suit of tweed was well cut and had evidently been carefully kept, in spite of its undoubtedly threadbare condition. It, and the worn and haggard look of the man's face, denoted poverty, if not recent actual privation, and the thought was present in more than one mind there in possession of certain facts: if this man had really owned the ...
— The Middle of Things • J. S. Fletcher

... subject has been worn threadbare, and it is useless to enter further into it here, save to remark that since the automobile is bringing about so many reforms and improvements perhaps the abolition of this species of swindling on the part of the British hotel-keeper will ...
— The Automobilist Abroad • M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield

... meager resources to the least strain possible, Dennis at last succeeded in securing, in one of the more pretentious stores on Baxter Street, a contrivance for the relief of penury and threadbare gentility known at that time by ...
— The Flaw in the Sapphire • Charles M. Snyder

... Stratemeyer, with whom we are all acquainted. This last bit of his work is especially good, and the boy who gets one of these volumes will become very popular among his fellows until the book is worn threadbare."—N. Y. Herald. ...
— Down The River - Buck Bradford and His Tyrants • Oliver Optic

... hid herself, and in came little Bob, the father, with at least three feet of comforter hanging down before him, and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed to look seasonable; and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. Why was the child thus carried? Alas for Tiny Tim, he bore a little crutch and had his limbs supported by an iron frame! Patient little Tim,—never was he heard to utter a fretful or complaining word. No wonder ...
— Ten Boys from Dickens • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... Psychophysics, the work of the German scientist Fechner. The intimate relation between mental life and physical and physiological forces was here first clearly demonstrated, and the way was open for a science of psychology which should cast aside the old and threadbare raiment of mystery and speculation and metaphysic, and stand forth ...
— Craftsmanship in Teaching • William Chandler Bagley

... rapped with his staff at a grating; at the knock there looked out an old roman, who was fervently praying on her knees. She was dressed in a much-worn high cap, and in a short veil, poor, but white as new-fallen snow; her silver hair streamed over a threadbare mantle: it was easy to guess that this was no common woman. Her features were very regular, in her dim eyes was expressed intellect, and a kind of stern greatness of soul. She looked proudly and steadily ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... these triumphant glows, he would turn to the Doctor with a deprecatory gravity, and for a few moments be almost submissive in his reply. So earnest and worn it looked then, the poor old face, in the dim light! The black clothes he wore were so threadbare and shining at the knees and elbows, the coarse leather shoes brought to so fine a polish! The Doctor idly wondered who had blacked ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 8, No. 48, October, 1861 • Various

... that was about all. Where Susan had been in all those years, or what she had been doing, was more than Mrs. Halliday could find out. Of late she had been living somewhere abroad. The clothes she had last worn were of foreign make, very poor and threadbare; and there was one little box in her room at the inn that had been made at Rouen, for the name of a Rouen trunkmaker was on the inside of the lid. There were no letters or papers of any kind in the box; so you see there was no way of finding out what the poor creature's life ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... and other persons on foot and on horseback, mostly in a hurry, evidently with business on their hands. There were, however, a few saunterers, and they were either almost naked black aborigines, with lank hair, hideous countenances, and thin legs, or men with their hands in their pockets, in threadbare coats and uncleaned shoes, their countenances pale and dejected, and mostly marked by intemperance. Many of them were young, but there were some of all ages—broken-down gentlemen, unprepared for colonial life, without ...
— The Gilpins and their Fortunes - A Story of Early Days in Australia • William H. G. Kingston

... inspiration in the general run of songs: neither Nature nor Love are themes that can ever be finally exhausted while human nature remains as it is, but the treatment can be so stereotyped that it eventually wears threadbare. It is possible to become thoroughly weary of roses and gardens, and gardens of roses, gardens without roses, and gardens where we hope there will be roses. It is such a pity, too, that there are so few rhymes to "love." Yet ...
— Spirit and Music • H. Ernest Hunt

... quite incongruous. I am old enough to have watched the descent of stories at Oxford, just as one recognizes the same furniture in college rooms occupied by successive generations of undergraduates. To me they sometimes seem threadbare like the old Turkish carpets in the college rooms, but I never spoil them by betraying their age, and, if well told, I can enjoy them as much as if I ...
— My Autobiography - A Fragment • F. Max Mueller

... said deserves contempt, though it may merit anger. If we would escape his conclusion, we must not altogether disregard his premises. Bankruptcy and death are the final heirs of imposture and make-believes. The old faiths and forms are worn too threadbare by a thousand disputations to bear the burden of the new democracy, which, if it is not merely to win the battle but to hold the country, must be ready with new faiths and forms of her own. They ...
— Obiter Dicta • Augustine Birrell

... though worn threadbare, was a beautiful old Moorish rug, once glowing with brilliancy, and still rich in colouring, and the cushion was of thick damask faded to a strange pale green. All in that double-stalled partition, ...
— The Armourer's Prentices • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... Threadbare and very dusty were his clothes, his feet swollen and sore, but his chin was pressed well forward, and the light in his eyes was that of a conqueror, when at last, tramp, tramp, tramp, his tired feet came pattering up the stones of the steep old bridge ...
— A Book of Quaker Saints • Lucy Violet Hodgkin

... The end was that Addie fast became what was then called, without any circumlocution, an "old maid," and an uninteresting one, whose days were occupied by church and gossip, and who went over and over the threadbare family tradition. Old Mrs. Clark, her mother, was a realist and never forgot the farm days. She was enough of a woman to regret sincerely the fatal mistake that the family had made in trying to become something other than their destiny had fitted ...
— Clark's Field • Robert Herrick

... dinners at the Bijou. Dr. Staines admitted no false friends to these. They never went beyond eight; five gentlemen, three ladies. By this arrangement the terrible discursiveness of the fair, and man's cruel disposition to work a subject threadbare, were controlled and modified, and a happy balance of conversation established. Lady Cicely Treherne was always invited, and always managed to come; for she said, "They were the most agweeable little paaties in London, and the host and hostess both so intewesting." In the autumn, Staines worked ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... on to the end of the term, though," Beetle wagged his head sorrowfully. He had worn many jests threadbare on ...
— Stalky & Co. • Rudyard Kipling

... Cloked in gray threadbare poverty, and blind, Age-weak, and desolate, and beloved of God; High-heartedness to long repulse resign'd, Yet bating not one jot of hope, he trod The sunless skyless streets he could not see; By those faint feet made sacrosanct ...
— The Visions of England - Lyrics on leading men and events in English History • Francis T. Palgrave

... at all except the threadbare cloak of her father's idiosyncrasies, lined with her mother's made-over tact, trimmed with her great-aunt somebody's short-lipped smile, shrouding a ...
— Little Eve Edgarton • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... straight through the patched and threadbare jackets of the lads as they crept closer to the window, struggling hard by breathing on the pane to make their peep-holes bigger, to take in the whole of the big cake with the almonds set in; but they did not ...
— Children of the Tenements • Jacob A. Riis

... she settled back in the capacious, threadbare throne, a slender figure in its depths—more adapted to accommodate a corpulent Henry VIII!—and smiled gaily, as the wagon, in avoiding one rut, ran into another and lurched somewhat violently. Saint-Prosper, lodged on a neighboring trunk, ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... peg an ancient plum-colored coat of London make, and with relics of embroidery on its seams, cuffs, pocket-flaps, and button-holes, but lamentably worn and faded, patched at the elbows, tattered at the skirts, and threadbare all over. On the left breast was a round hole, whence either a star of nobility had been rent away, or else the hot heart of some former wearer had scorched it through and through. The neighbors said that this rich garment belonged to the Black Man's wardrobe, and that he kept ...
— Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... drawers of painted deal to stand back to the wall. A similar washstand and a low bed completed the furniture. The last was immediately behind the door, and there lay the woman, with a bolster heightened by a thin petticoat and threadbare cloak under her head. Hester saw a pale, patient, worn face, with ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... also explains with superfluous caution that the Duomo of Pisa is not entirely Gothic. Once arrived in the capital of Tuscany, after admitting that Florence is a noble city, our traveller is anxious to avoid the hackneyed ecstasies and threadbare commonplaces, derived in those days from Vasari through Keysler and other German commentators, whose genius Smollett is inclined to discover rather "in the ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... the western journey was a step into Wonderland; novel sights, novel ideas confronted him on every hand and viewed through the medium of his enthusiasm things that had become threadbare to Van became, as if by magic, suddenly new. The greatness of the country was a marvel of which Bob had never before had any adequate conception. Then there were the cities, alive with varying industries, and teeming with their strangely mixed American population. Above all ...
— The Story of Sugar • Sara Ware Bassett

... one of them, thumping on a terribly lax drum, and followed by the entire dramatis personae, who ranged themselves on a wooden platform in front of the theatre. They were dressed in character, but wofully shabby, with very dingy and wrinkled white tights, threadbare cotton-velvets, crumpled silks, and crushed muslin, and all the gloss and glory gone out of their aspect and attire, seen thus in the broad daylight and after a long series of performances. They sang a song together, and withdrew into the theatre, whither the public were invited to ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... a high, precise courtliness which contrasted oddly with his boyish face (I guessed his age at nineteen or twenty), and still more oddly with his clothes, which were threadbare and patched in many places, yet with a deftness which told of a woman's care. We introduced ourselves by name, and thanked him, with some expressions of regret at inconveniencing (as I put it, at hazard) the family at ...
— The Laird's Luck • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... Bog rapped, and entered. He was more neatly dressed than when Marcus saw him on the occasion of his first visit. His patched and threadbare coat was replaced by a neat roundabout jacket; his greasy, visorless cap, by a flat felt hat, of which the brim was symmetrically turned up; his tattered shoes by great cowhide boots. The boy was of that age when the human frame grows ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... and ancient mirror, were two rusty broad-swords, and in the mirror I saw a large, oaken table reflected. Seated at it, clothed in a threadbare coat of very ancient fashion, was an old man with long, snow-white hair and a white, forked beard. He was busily transferring a stack of gold-pieces from his right to his left side; and then he began scribbling on a sheet of paper. ...
— Jacqueline of Golden River • H. M. Egbert

... filmy curtain into the boys' half of the dressing room and there was Sid sitting at the star's dressing table in his threadbare yellowed undershirt, the lucky one, not making up yet but staring sternly at himself in the bulb-framed mirror and experimentally working his features a little, as actors will, and kneading the ...
— No Great Magic • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... is less diffusible than that of the poet. He requires various mechanical means and appliances for his full success. His works must be performed in order to be felt. He cannot be read, like the poet, in the closet, or in the cottage, or on the street-stall, where the threadbare student steals from day to day, as he lingers at the spot, new draughts of delicious refreshment. Few can sit down and peruse a musical composition even for its melody; and very few, indeed, can gather from the silent notes the full effect ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 361, November, 1845. • Various

... the chamber look quite dark," says Addison, surveying it, "after the glorious appearance and disappearance of that gracious messenger? Why, he illuminated the whole room. Your scarlet, Mr. Esmond, will bear any light; but this threadbare old coat of mine, how very worn it looked under the glare of that splendour! I wonder whether they will do anything for me," he continued. "When I came out of Oxford into the world, my patrons promised me great things; ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... was convoyed out grumbling. In another moment Mr. Granger entered, dressed in a somewhat threadbare suit of black, and his thin white hair hanging, as usual, over his eyes. Geoffrey glanced at him with apprehension, and as he did so noticed that he had aged greatly during the last seven months. Had he come to tell him some ill news of Beatrice—that she ...
— Beatrice • H. Rider Haggard

... what they were writing. Some one was being betrayed or ruined. That was how they lived. I looked for the mark of their calling on them, but at first they appeared an ordinary crowd, pale, with a thick, unhealthy pallor, as though from an indoor life. Their suits were poor enough,—worn threadbare,—and their fingernails were dirty. Furtively they glanced up at me and examined me curiously, and then gave quick, frightened looks on either side to see if their comrades had observed their interest in me. What a mediocre, shabby crowd, with their low foreheads and dead-white ...
— Trapped in 'Black Russia' - Letters June-November 1915 • Ruth Pierce

... dark, thick-set man entered and stood looking round the room. The frame must once have been powerful, but now it was shrunken and emaciated. The shabby, threadbare clothes hung loosely from the stooping shoulders. Only the head seemed to have retained its vigour. The face, from which the long black hair was brushed straight back, was ghastly white. Out of it, deep set beneath great shaggy, overhanging brows, blazed the fierce, restless eyes ...
— All Roads Lead to Calvary • Jerome K. Jerome

... delivers the attack. Squeaking Henry knew the armour plate to be thinnest on man's sympathetic side, and the hard-luck story which he told Old Man Curry would have melted the heart of a golf club handicapper. The story was overworked and threadbare in spots, but it brought ...
— Old Man Curry - Race Track Stories • Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

... carefully powdered and plaited, stood out stiff from the back of his head, as if in perpetual protest against any new-fangled notions of hair-dressing; his livery, scrupulously neat and well brushed, was threadbare and of an antediluvian cut, and his whole appearance was that of highly respectable antediluvianism. As he stood there with his antique and venerable figure his whole face fairly beamed with delight ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... dismantle; put off, take off, cast off; doff; peel, pare, decorticate, excoriate, skin, scalp, flay; expose, lay open; exfoliate, molt, mew; cast the skin. Adj. divested &c. v.; bare, naked, nude; undressed, undraped; denuded; exposed; in dishabille; bald, threadbare, ragged, callow, roofless. in a state of nature, in nature's garb, in the buff, in native buff, in birthday suit; in puris naturalibus[Lat]; with nothing on, stark naked, stark raving naked [joc.]; bald as a coot, bare as ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... with a church and white tower conspicuous from afar. We climb up to the terrace in front of it, on our way into the town. A seedy-looking priest is pacing up and down, taking the fresh breeze, his broad-brimmed, shabby hat held down upon the wall by a big stone. His clothes are worn threadbare; and he looks as thin and poor as a Methodist minister in a stony town at home, on three hundred a year. He politely returns our salutation, and we walk on. Nearly all the priests in this region look wretchedly ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... 'The Rambler in Madeira' (Mr. Lyall) proclaimed the theme utterly threadbare, in consequence of 'every traveller opening his quarto (?) with a short notice of it;' and he proceeded at once to indite a fair-sized octavo. Humboldt said something of the same sort in his 'Personal Narrative,' ...
— To the Gold Coast for Gold - A Personal Narrative in Two Volumes.—Vol. I • Richard F. Burton

... K. Le Moyne retired to bed. Wrapped in a paper and securely tied for the morning's disposal, was considerable masculine underclothing, ragged and buttonless. Not for worlds would he have had Sidney discover his threadbare inner condition. "New underwear for yours tomorrow, K. Le Moyne," he said to himself, as he unknotted his cravat. "New underwear, and something besides K. ...
— K • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... as he had known it from childhood; a hard brass bed, white painted chest-of-drawers and wash-hand-stand, threadbare green carpet, flowered and festooned pink-and-white wall-paper. (It must have been renewed in twenty-five years, but the pattern was the same.) There was an oak-framed "Light of the World" over ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... to live by my goods; and I hope you will be pleased to allow some difference between a neat fresh piece, piping hot out of the classicks, and old threadbare worn-out stuff that has past through every pedant's mouth and been as common at ...
— Miscellanies, Volume 2 (from Works, Volume 12) • Henry Fielding

... a pity that all overwrought people cannot have a chance to relax their nerves, and to learn the possibilities of happiness that are within them. Most of the jars and bickerings of domestic life, most of the mental and moral obliquities, depend upon threadbare nerves, either inherited or uncovered by friction incident to getting on in the world. I never understood the comforts that follow in the wake of a quiet, unambitious life, until such a life was forced upon me. When you discover these ...
— The Fat of the Land - The Story of an American Farm • John Williams Streeter

... hid herself, and in came little Bob, the father, with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe, hanging down before him; and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed, to look seasonable; and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. Alas for Tiny Tim, he bore a little crutch, and had his limbs supported by an ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6 • Charles H. Sylvester

... thin old man, who muttering, it might be, a benediction, stepped into the hall, and displayed long silver tresses, just as the storm had blown them, ascetic and eager features, and a pair of large light eyes that wandered wildly. He was dressed in threadbare black; a pair of long leather gaiters, buckled high above his knee, protecting his thin shanks through moss and pool; and the singularity of his appearance was heightened by a wide-leafed felt hat, over which he had tied his handkerchief, so ...
— J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 3 • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... unknown.—At the head of the diplomatic committee stands Brissot, itinerant journalist, lately traveling about in England and the United States. He is supposed to be competent in the affairs of both worlds; in reality he is one of those presuming, threadbare, talkative fellows, who, living in a garret, lecture foreign cabinets and reconstruct all Europe. Things, to them, seem to be as easily worked out as words and sentences: one day,[2205] to entice the English into an alliance with France, Brissot ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... between breaths, clasping her hands and glancing heavenward. "Do such dresses grow upon bushes that they are so easily obtained? Doubtless," she concluded with withering sarcasm, "when they are worn threadbare as they soon will be owing to such constant usage, you will purchase others with those golden pesos ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... leather visor partly concealed his face, which, burned and tanned by the sun and wind, was dripping with perspiration. He wore a cravat which was twisted into a long string; trousers of blue drilling worn and threadbare, and an old gray tattered blouse, patched on one of the elbows with a bit of green cotton cloth, sewed on with a twine string. On his back, a soldier's knapsack, well buckled and perfectly new; in his hand, an enormous knotty stick. Iron-shod ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... Solemnise nonsense in the day's broad glare, We Night prefer, which heals or hides our care. 10 Rogues justified, and by success made bold, Dull fools and coxcombs sanctified by gold, Freely may bask in fortune's partial ray, And spread their feathers opening to the day; But threadbare Merit dares not show the head Till vain Prosperity retires to bed. Misfortunes, like the owl, avoid the light; The sons of Care are always sons of Night. The wretch, bred up in Method's drowsy school, Whose only merit is to err by rule, 20 Who ne'er through ...
— Poetical Works • Charles Churchill

... few of his earlier sketches were inexpensive in their elements; made of materials worn threadbare by generations of earlier funny men, they were sometimes cut in the pattern of his predecessors. No doubt, some of the earliest of all were crude and highly colored, and may even be called forced, not to say violent. No doubt, also, they ...
— Inquiries and Opinions • Brander Matthews

... Jones, B.A., and Mrs. James Martin Jones welcomed him almost as noisily as had Mac. They begged him to come in. With Mr. Jones he discussed—no, ye Claires of Brooklyn Heights, this garage man and this threadbare young superintendent of a paintbare school, talking in a town that was only a comma on the line, did not discuss corn-growing, nor did they reckon to guess that by heck the constabule was carryin' on ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... was but one escape. Behind the evicted tenantry were the sheep-walks; before them was the open sea. Few herrings came to the net; the bannock meal was low; the tartan threadbare. In their utter hopelessness they listened to the good news which came of a land beyond the {14} Atlantic where there was plenty and to spare. It is small wonder that as the ships moved westward they carried with them the destitute Highlander, bound for ...
— The Red River Colony - A Chronicle of the Beginnings of Manitoba • Louis Aubrey Wood

... the things that are in bad taste in speaking and writing, the use of threadbare quotations and expressions is in the front rank. Some of these usés et cassés old-timers are the following: "Their name is legion"; "hosts of friends"; "the upper ten"; "Variety is the spice of life"; "Distance ...
— The Verbalist • Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

... was half afraid lest he should altogether disappear, even while my eyes were fixed full upon his figure. He was certainly the wretchedest old ghost in the world, with his crazy hat, the dingy handkerchief about his throat, his suit of threadbare gray, and especially that patch over his right eye, behind which he always seemed to be hiding himself. There was one method, however, of bringing him out into somewhat stronger relief. A glass of brandy would effect it. Perhaps the gentler ...
— The Blithedale Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... then black anger took possession of him. The look he cast on the bent figure before him in the threadbare frock-coat which had been taken from the back of some dead Boer, with the corded breeches stuck in boots too large for him, and the khaki hat which some vanished Tommy would never wear again, was ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... man babbled on, he descended from the fence, shouldered his umbrella, and together the two started for the ferry. He said he wanted to buy a new suit of clothes. That he had on he had bought in 1807 in Germany, and it was beginning to get threadbare. So the reporter led him over the river, put him in a horse-car, asked him to send his address to the office, and the aged pilgrim nudged up into a corner seat, put his valise on the floor and sailed serenely out of sight amid the reverberation of the oaths hurled by the driver at an Irish ...
— Elbow-Room - A Novel Without a Plot • Charles Heber Clark (AKA Max Adeler)

... having, unfortunately, passed into a management different from their own, I had no right any longer to rely upon secrecy in that quarter; and thus my mask, like my Aunt Dinah's in "Tristram Shandy," having begun to wax a little threadbare about the chin, it became time to lay it aside with a good grace, unless I desired it should fall in pieces from my face, which ...
— Chronicles of the Canongate • Sir Walter Scott

... was a murmur, a reluctant shuffle, and a man appeared in the doorway and stood lowering, his eyes fixed on the ground; a tall, slight man, with stooping shoulders, and delicate pointed features. He was shabbily dressed, yet there was something fastidious in his air, and it was noticeable that the threadbare clothes ...
— Mrs. Tree • Laura E. Richards

... the impressions given below and compiled many of the instances on the now threadbare subject of atrocities during the time that I was in the war zone. The opinions will not meet with favor in this country, particularly at present, when we seem on the point of ...
— The Log of a Noncombatant • Horace Green

... I know how absurd it is to go over the ground that has already been worn threadbare, but—but, oh! ...
— Patty's Friends • Carolyn Wells

... then picked up the tatters of his threadbare comic speech. Speed, munching a stale sandwich, came strolling over to where I stood sponging out my ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... have had to rely upon the army and the Extraordinary Commission, and have been compelled to reduce the Soviet system to an empty form. More and more the pretence of representing the proletariat has grown threadbare. Amid official demonstrations and processions and meetings the genuine proletarian looks on, apathetic and disillusioned, unless he is possessed of unusual energy and fire, in which case he looks ...
— The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism • Bertrand Russell

... the last chapter ended, might very well summarize the matter; for his name is banged and beaten about like an old tin can, while his soul had something in it of a fine and fragile eighteenth-century vase. And it will be found that the most threadbare things contemporary and connected with him have a real truth to the tone and meaning of his life and time, though for us they have too often degenerated into dead jokes. The expression "hearts of oak," ...
— A Short History of England • G. K. Chesterton

... it had done good service and had flourished at many a dance and kermis, when she was known, far and wide, as the pretty Meitje Klenck. The children had sometimes been granted rare glimpses of it as it lay in state in the old oaken chest. Faded and threadbare as it was, it was gorgeous in their eyes, with its white linen tucker, now gathered to her plump throat and vanishing beneath the trim bodice of blue homespun, and its reddish-brown skirt bordered with black. The knitted woolen mitts and the dainty cap showing ...
— Hans Brinker - or The Silver Skates • Mary Mapes Dodge

... had felt all this very deeply could be so sensitive to the new spirit—if the word were not threadbare one would call it religious—which is shaking the foundations of the world's social pyramid, perhaps only another example of the failure of nerve, perhaps the triumphant expression of ...
— Rosinante to the Road Again • John Dos Passos

... attitude of which they mainly reflected. In substance, therefore, they embodied the same medley of affirmations and denials, of charges and countercharges, of evasions and subterfuges which party discussion had worn threadbare. ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... stolen into the house and up the threadbare stairs into the miserable little back room, somehow dignified as it had never been before, and laid their gifts upon the coffin. An odd and pitiful assortment they were—mourners and gifts: men and women whose only bond with the man in life had been ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... worked fast enough. Kid Wolf was not to be victimized by such a threadbare ruse. He was too fast, too strong. He whirled Mullhall about, his left boot went behind Mullhall's legs. With all his force he threw his weight against him, tearing his ...
— Kid Wolf of Texas - A Western Story • Ward M. Stevens

... Alvise, an old Venetian with dyed whiskers, a great check tie fastened with two pins and a chain; a threadbare patrician who is dying to secure for his lanky son that pretty American girl, whose mother is intoxicated by all his mooning anecdotes about the past glories of Venice in general, and of his illustrious family in particular. Why, ...
— Hauntings • Vernon Lee

... to see him with his coarse boots, dressed in a simple coat somewhat threadbare, a round hat covering his gray head, that you have before you one of the famous Parisian dandies of 1864? Listen to this other history. Scruples of devoutness coming in the wake of a serious illness ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... He wore the joke threadbare, even to his own taste, and in the end got heavily to his feet, starting for the companionway. "Land you this arternoon," he remarked casually, "come three o'clock or thereabahts. Per'aps later. I don't know, though, as I 'ad ought to let ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... thing we Should pay—if possible—their bribes and fee. Search—as thou canst—the old and modern store Of Rome and ours, in all the witty score Thou shalt not find a rich one; take each clime, And run o'er all the pilgrimage of time, Thou'lt meet them poor, and ev'rywhere descry A threadbare, goldless genealogy. Nature—it seems—when she meant us for earth Spent so much of her treasure in the birth As ever after niggards her, and she, Thus stor'd within, beggars us outwardly. Woful profusion! at how dear a rate Are we made up! all hope of thrift and state ...
— Poems of Henry Vaughan, Silurist, Volume II • Henry Vaughan

... riding lessons, and before long had a charming horse of my own, and was able to afford the delight of giving my father one, the use of which I hoped would help to invigorate and refresh him. The faded, threadbare, turned, and dyed frocks which were my habitual wear were exchanged for fashionably made dresses of fresh colors and fine texture, in which I appeared to myself transfigured. Our door was besieged ...
— Records of a Girlhood • Frances Anne Kemble

... which I judged him to have something to do with shipbuilding. Thirdly, a little sailor-boy, a mere child, with a profusion of rich dark brown hair, and deep womanly-looking eyes. Fourthly, a shabby-genteel personage in a threadbare black suit, and apparently in very bad circumstances, with a dry suspicious look; the absent buttons on his waistcoat eked out with red tape; and a bundle of extraordinarily tattered papers sticking out of an inner ...
— The Seven Poor Travellers • Charles Dickens

... old house told a far different tale,—the shabby furniture, the dismantled walls, the worn carpets, as well as the threadbare coat of Moronval himself, and the shiny scant robe of the little ...
— Jack - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... present saveloy was equally at your service. He must have been remarkably attached to facetious elderly poultry of the masculine gender, as his invariable salute to the tenants of his "heart's core" was, "How are you, my jolly old cock?" Coats became threadbare, and defunct trousers vanished; waistcoats were never replaced; gossamers floated down the tide of Time; boots, deprived of all hope of future renovation by the loss of their soles, mouldered in obscurity; but ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, August 21, 1841 • Various

... and artificial spring, of the poetry of feudal nations. But the time came when not only Provencal and Sicilian, but even Tuscan, poetry was neglected, when the revival of Greek and Latin letters made it impossible to rewrite the threadbare mediaeval prettinesses, or even to write in earnest in the modern tongue, so stiff and thin (as it seemed) and like some grotesque painted saint, when compared with the splendidly fleshed antique languages, turning and twining ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. I • Vernon Lee

... resound in my ears, and peals of laughter ring again in my deserted chamber; then would succeed stillness, broken only by the beatings of my agonized heart, which felt that the gloss of respectability had worn off and exposed my threadbare condition. To drown these reflections, I would drink, not from love of the taste of the liquor, but to become so stupefied by its fumes as to steep my sorrows in a half oblivion; and from this miserable stupor I would wake to a fuller consciousness of ...
— Stories of Achievement, Volume III (of 6) - Orators and Reformers • Various

... mantelpiece and stood on the threadbare rug, and urged me not to be misled by the stories of prejudiced and interested enemies ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... an episode that gives a man a new sensation—a new thrill, in a world of threadbare ones—is worth a king's ranson. I've seen the beauties of Occident ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... chills them into sorrow with a look! Some minds are open as a well-read book; But here the leaves are still uncut—unscanned, The volume clasped and sealed, and all the warm And passionate exuberance of love Held in submission to these threadbare flaws And creeds of weaknesses, poor human laws. Stand up erect—nay kneel—for from above God's light is streaming on thee. Fashion's daws May fawn and natter like a cringing pack Of servile hounds beneath the keeper's hand, But these are not ...
— Hesperus - and Other Poems and Lyrics • Charles Sangster

... I noticed on this visit that he looked older and more worn, and his clothes were very threadbare. But he seemed as bright and cheerful as ever, unless he was asked about ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV. • Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... deadly bored With toasts, and songs, and speeches, As long and flat as my old sword, As threadbare as my breeches: They understand us Pilgrims! they, Smooth men with rosy faces. Strength's knots and gnarls all pared away, And ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... hulk Should sink beneath the wave; Her thunders shook the mighty deep, And there should be her grave; Nail to the mast her holy flag, Set every threadbare sail, And give her to the god of storms, The ...
— Types of Children's Literature • Edited by Walter Barnes

... persons answering to the above description were assembled before the picture-shop, when they were joined by a young man in a threadbare cloak and shabby garments. He was a painter, named Tchartkoff, as enthusiastic in his art as he was needy in his circumstances and careless of his dress. Pausing before the booth, he smiled as he glanced at the wretched pictures there displayed. The ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 62, No. 384, October 1847 • Various

... less, was, undoubtedly, the system pursued by this modern instructor of maturity—I cannot say 'of youth,' as the majority of his pupils were men who had long cut their wisdom teeth, and worn the virile toga almost threadbare:—stalwart men, "bearded like the pard," in the fashion of Hamlet's warrior, which has now become so general that heroes and civilians are indistinguishable the one from ...
— She and I, Volume 2 - A Love Story. A Life History. • John Conroy Hutcheson

... said Louise, with inward wonder that she had not thought of it. His self-possession did not comport with his threadbare clothes any more than his neat accent and quiet tone comported with the proletarian character she had assigned him. She decided that he must be a walking-delegate, and that he had probably come on mischief from some of the workpeople in her father's employ; ...
— The Quality of Mercy • W. D. Howells

... induce you to dress good St. David in an old threadbare coat, it passes my skill to guess: it is enough that I am sure it would give general disgust; and therefore I have not only made him a present of a new coat, but have also put a little embroidery upon it. And I really think I shall astonish the good folks in Merionethshire by my account of that ...
— Walladmor: - And Now Freely Translated from the German into English. - In Two Volumes. Vol. I. • Thomas De Quincey

... Knoxville campaign, and the Eighty-sixth back in its old camp on the North Chickamauga. This campaign consumed twenty-five days of the severest marching and suffering that ever soldiers experienced. Many returned barefooted and threadbare, in the chill month of December, leaving bloody tracks on the frozen ground. This march may be fairly numbered among the hardest of our hardships. No men ever bore up under so many ills with more fortitude ...
— History of the Eighty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during its term of service • John R. Kinnear

... as one who knows the full extent of the sacrifice. Hunger and penury had carved lines as easy to read in her face as the traces of asceticism and fear. There were vestiges of bygone splendor in her clothes. She was dressed in threadbare silk, a neat but well-worn mantle, and daintily mended lace,—in the rags of former grandeur, in short. The shopkeeper and his wife, drawn two ways by pity and self-interest, began by ...
— An Episode Under the Terror • Honore de Balzac

... ashamed of his rich dress and sparkling orders, which rendered him conspicuous, he walked on and on, an object of curiosity to every passer-by. At length, on the Pont Neuf, he met a dilapidated old hackney-coach, amid whose threadbare cushions he was glad to retreat ...
— Prince Eugene and His Times • L. Muhlbach

... if Dreiser gets anything properly describable as pleasure out of this dogged accumulation of threadbare, undistinguished, uninspiring nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, participles and conjunctions. To the man with an ear for verbal delicacies—the man who searches painfully for the perfect word, and puts the way of saying ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... introduced it into messages and speeches from the throne, in order to dazzle the eyes of the populace, even while they insulted the understanding of those who were capable of exercising their own reason. This pretext was worn so threadbare, that, among the sensible part of mankind, it could no longer be used without incurring contempt and ridicule. In order to persuade mankind that the protestant religion was in danger, it would have been necessary to ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... some in French, some in Latin, and they went on, one after the other, for three days consecutively. On the third day, when the royal patience must have been wellnigh exhausted, and the chancellor's talents at reply worn tolerably threadbare, the king would rise, and mounting on horseback, would proceed to the cathedral church of Notre Dame, down the Rue St Denis. One of the best recorded of these royal entries is that of Louis XI. On this occasion, the ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV. • Various

... They have set out, in good faith, as they believe, to seek for life, liberty and happiness. They do not yet realize that, along the road that they are now traveling, the journey will not be ended until they have worn themselves threadbare in their efforts to ...
— The American Empire • Scott Nearing

... wailing across the everlasting hills, blending its voice with the melancholy dirge of the river, one may almost believe that through the gloom there passes swiftly a bent, hurrying figure. Perhaps it is but the swaying of a branch near by, that so startlingly suggests the waving in the wind of a threadbare cloak. ...
— Stories of the Border Marches • John Lang and Jean Lang

... actually has the audacity to have blue eyes and fair hair, to start his career in the House, and to end it, so far as the novel is concerned, lying wounded in a hospital, where his fiancee, a famous singer, happened to be a nurse in the same ward. Nor does the young man disdain the threadbare conversational cliche. "Don't you think there is something elemental in most of us which no veneer of civilisation or artificial living can ever deaden?" he says in one place (rather as if veneer were a kind of rat poison). Still ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, April 7, 1920 • Various

... who chooses to remove his pride and poverty out of some large unfurnished gallery at St. Germain's. Why really Mr. Montagu this is not pleasant; I shall wonderfully dislike being a loyal sufferer in a threadbare coat, and shivering in an ante-chamber at Hanover, or reduced to teach Latin and English to the young princes at Copenhagen. The Dowager Strafford has already written cards for my Lady Nithisdale, my Lady Tullibardine, ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... Expressions Close Thought of Their Mind—articulated in His Tongue Too Silly to Require Any Sort of Notice Uncommon Power of Clear and Compact Statement Voice Shrill and Piercing Wear the Sweetest Idea Threadbare Whom the Gods Wish to Destroy They First Make Mad Widow v.s. Gen. Adams You Work and Toil and Earn Bread ...
— Widger's Quotations from Abraham Lincoln's Writings • David Widger

... little sudden clouds, like those which in this northern latitude, where summer is at best but a flighty visitor, chill out the heart, though but for a few minutes at a time, of the warmest afternoon. He had fits of the gloom of other people—their dull passage through and exit from the world, the threadbare incidents of their lives, their dismal funerals—which, unless he drove them away immediately by strenuous exercise, settled into a gloom more properly his own. Yet at such times outward things also would seem to concur unkindly in deepening the mental shadow about him, almost ...
— Imaginary Portraits • Walter Pater

... respectable himself?" Jess inquired. "You know some of these writers are horribly poor and go about with threadbare clothes. He might not be the right sort of man for us to ...
— Two Boys and a Fortune • Matthew White, Jr.

... 'e says it;'—for, like the professionally comic man all the world over, these individuals are popularly supposed to be invariably amusing, and a loud guffaw goes up whenever they open their mouths, no matter what the words that issue from them. Most of his hearers had heard his threadbare old jokes any time these twenty years, but the ready laughter greeted each of them in turn, as though they were newly born into the world. A Malay does not understand that a joke may pall from repetition, and is otherwise liable to ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... into the next room, Paul cast a hasty glance around the apartment. The furniture, originally rich and elegant, was now worn threadbare and lustreless. A book-case, containing, among other volumes, a few law books—there being a vague tradition, as Paul remembered, that Colonel Pendleton had once been connected with the law—a few ...
— A Ward of the Golden Gate • Bret Harte

... her nephew's prohibition and her recent fears, the good widow entered, and leaned anxiously over the stranger's form. A tall, gaunt man, clad in threadbare garments, which hung loosely upon the shrunken breast and arms, black hair and beard, mottled with white, ragged, and unshorn, and dank from exposure to the snow and sleet; a chalky-white face, with closed and sunken eyes, sharpened nose, and prominent cheek-bones—this was what ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... cannons on the front of the chapeau crossed, with the letters of the company, and number of the regiment to which the soldier belonged. On the caps these insignias were worn on the top of the crown. The uniform of the Phalanx put the threadbare clothes of the white veterans in sad contrast, and was the cause of many a black soldier being badly ...
— The Black Phalanx - African American soldiers in the War of Independence, the - War of 1812, and the Civil War • Joseph T. Wilson

... of the book was to discover the only true and allowable and womanly sphere of feminine work, and, though the theme was threadbare, she fearlessly picked up the ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... tap-room, sat down at a table, and tapped with his sword-hilt for service. His doublet and trunks of rich velvet, his broad beaver hat with its long flowing plume, and his silken hose, had all been elegant in their good days, but now they were stained, shabby, and almost threadbare in spots. His shoe buckles showed vacant jewel holders, and his sword hilt was without a precious stone, all giving evidence that their owner had been dealing with pawnbrokers. He was shabby from head ...
— The Touchstone of Fortune • Charles Major

... pitiful a thing, Threadbare, and soiled, and worn— "Why have we kept such starveling love?" she cried, "Was it worth treasuring?" And he replied: "Bury it ...
— A Woman of Thirty • Marjorie Allen Seiffert

... himself "tired to death." Very still he sat while her weary little feet ran for the cool drink—the daily paper—or the morning mail; and very happy he looked when her snowy fingers combed his hair or brushed his threadbare coat; and if, perchance, she sighed amid her labor of love, his ear was deaf, and he did not hear, neither did he see how white and thin she grew as day by day ...
— Cousin Maude • Mary J. Holmes

... caresses the rich, though vulgar and ill-bred, and avoids the poor man of merit in the threadbare coat. ...
— Life and Literature - Over two thousand extracts from ancient and modern writers, - and classified in alphabetical order • J. Purver Richardson

... attitude of studied grace, and twitched the wrinkles out of his threadbare waistcoat. Then, suddenly dropping his voice to a low pitch of ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... than the ordinary voice has: there was a note in it that might have belonged to a child's voice; another, more primitive, that betrayed feeling with as little reserve as the cry of an animal. Then it sank, and went on in a monotone, like a Hebrew prayer, as if reiterating things worn threadbare by repetition, and already said too often. Gradually, it died away in the surrounding silence. There was no response but a gentle rustling of the leaves overhead. It began anew, and, in the interval, seemed ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... question has become entangled in the ancient controversy concerning the constitutional status of Ireland in the United Kingdom. This is, indeed, sufficiently clear from the terms of the Nationalist manifesto addressed to you, every paragraph of which is coloured by allusion to bygone history and threadbare ...
— Ulster's Stand For Union • Ronald McNeill

... threadbare saying that the environment moulds the man. Yet, much more than the philosophers have contended, there are chameleon tendencies in the strongest character, and one finely determining to coerce his surroundings is quite likely to ...
— The Honorable Senator Sage-Brush • Francis Lynde

... would not like to be forestalled. Do you find in all this stuff I have written anything like those feelings which one should send my old adventuring friend, that is gone to wander among Tartars, and may never come again? I don't, but your going away, and all about you, is a threadbare topic. I have worn it out with thinking, it has come to me when I have been dull with anything, till my sadness has seemed more to have come from it than to have introduced it. I want you, you don't know how much; but if ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... for him on the sidewalk, so he took up his position beyond the curbstone. The light from the large arc-lamp overhead, exposed the old man's thin white hair, withered face and threadbare clothes. His sightless eyes were turned toward the passing throng, and his head was slightly bent in an expectant attitude. But the hand that drew the wheezy bow across the strings of the violin often faltered, and the broken music, instead of attracting, repelled the ...
— The Unknown Wrestler • H. A. (Hiram Alfred) Cody

... he had to deal with; besides, those that use this naughty trade are either such as blind men with a show of religion, or by hectoring the buyer out by words. I must confess Mr. Badman was not so arch at the first; that is, to do it by show of religion; for now he began to grow threadbare, though some of his brethren are arch enough this way, yea, and of his sisters too, for I told you at first that there were a great many of them, and never a one of them good; but for hectoring, for swearing, for lying, if these things would make weight and measure, they should not be wanting ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... the young man in the threadbare coat became like a live wire! His hair, which already was en brosse, seemed to rise still higher on his head, his thin lips quivered, and his hands worked in a complete language of their own. He put up an immediate barrier with his palms held ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... fifty gold pieces?" She looked at him and, seeing him to be an old man with a dyed beard, said to the broker, "Art thou silly, that thou wouldst sell me to this worn out Father Antic? Am I cotton refuse or threadbare rags that thou marchest me about from greybeard to greybeard, each like a wall ready to fall or an Ifrit smitten down of a fire-ball? As for the first, the poet had him in mind when he ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 8 • Richard F. Burton

... sails! Yohohey!—Hui! Lift the anchor! Yohohey!—Hui! False love, false troth! Back to sea, without stop, without rest!..." Senta who has been singing with a spirit and expressiveness full unusual as applied to a threadbare old ballad, has at this point reached such a pitch of emotion that her voice fails and she sinks in her chair exhausted. The girls, whom her earnestness has impressed into a realisation of the facts sung by her, who have for a moment had through her eyes the vision of that lost soul's wretchedness, ...
— The Wagnerian Romances • Gertrude Hall

... that enterprises will be successes or failures, as the apparel seems to be whole and clean, or soiled and threadbare. ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... a swift glance across the desk, and for the first time saw the whole of him. He was clad in a threadbare, long, brown ulster—long, that is, it would have been upon an ordinary man, but the stranger happening to be remarkably tall, it appeared on him ridiculously short, reaching only to his knees. Round his neck and tucked into his waistcoat, thus completely hiding the shirt ...
— Tommy and Co. • Jerome K. Jerome

... how cold and bleak and barren the hillsides looked after the smiling fields of Maryland, touched and warmed by the Southern sun! And then the cold, the bitter cold of it all, the white winding sheet of the snow and the ice made us shiver and hug the fire of dry fence-rails and button our threadbare coats more tightly around us, while we looked in despair at the toes peeping through the ends of our boots. But the great General knew how to warm the blood in our veins and drive the despair from our hearts, when on that bitterly cold Christmas night he led us across the ...
— The Tory Maid • Herbert Baird Stimpson

... that the ascent was nothing—a mere nothing, and that before another thought could pass through monsieur's mind the fifth floor would be reached. The boy followed, climbing and ever climbing, until the meagre hand-rail appeared to lengthen into dream-like coils, and the threadbare, drab-hued carpet, with its vivid red border, to assume the proportions of some ...
— Max • Katherine Cecil Thurston

... charity-forbidding pride, became practically reduced to their last copper, just as Abe's joints were "loosenin' up" after a five years' siege of rheumatism, and decided to sell all their worldly possessions, apart from their patched and threadbare wardrobes and a few meager keepsakes, they had depended upon raising at least two hundred dollars, one half of which was to secure Abe a berth in the Old Men's Home at Indian Village, and the other ...
— Old Lady Number 31 • Louise Forsslund

... later he emerged in clean shirt and threadbare, but well-brushed, uniform, arrayed for Mr. and Mrs. Fossell's whist-party. As he passed the Garrison gate, Mrs. Treacher, who sometimes acted deputy for her husband, began to ring the six o'clock bell. He halted and ...
— Major Vigoureux • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... of Jallianwala and all that followed in the Punjab scattered to the winds Mr. Gandhi's threadbare penitence for the horrible violence of Indian mobs, and he poured out henceforth all the vials of his wrath on the violence of the repression, far more unpardonable, he declared, because they were not ...
— India, Old and New • Sir Valentine Chirol

... home. He was in want of nothing at the moment. There were no holes in the well-polished shoes that seemed to keep ghostly guard outside his chamber-door. The clothes that lay by his bedside were indeed a little threadbare, but sound and spotless. The hat that hung in the passage below might have been much shabbier without necessarily indicating poverty. His walking-stick had a gold knob like any earl's. If he did choose to smoke a church-warden, he ...
— Paul Faber, Surgeon • George MacDonald

... altogether repulsive; pitiable, rather; a small, lean fellow, with a grey-white face drawn into wrinkles about the jaw, and eyes that wandered timidly. He wore a suit of good sea-cloth— soiled, indeed, but neither ragged nor threadbare—and a blue and yellow spotted neckerchief, the bow of which had worked around towards his right ear. His hat, perched a-cock over his left eye, had made acquaintance with the tavern sawdust. Next to his drunkenness, perhaps, the most remarkable thing about him ...
— Poison Island • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... foot in the direction indicated by the sound. Reaching the margin of the churchyard he looked over the wall, his presence being masked by bushes and a group of idlers from Markton who stood in front. Soon a funeral procession of simple—almost meagre and threadbare—character arrived, but Power did not join the people who followed the deceased into the church. De Stancy was the chief mourner and only relation present, the other followers of the broken-down old man being an ancient lawyer, a couple of faithful ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... tint of the complexion, the tarnished dimness of the large blue eyes, the discontented droop of the lips, the languor of the attitude, the pallid transparency of the wasted hands, all told of a life worn threadbare, energies exhausted, chances thrown away, ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... threadbare long years ago, so there was little really to be said. And now Frau von Eschenhagen branched ...
— The Northern Light • E. Werner

... top of which he sat, was inhabited in every one of its cells. When midnight struck, Ralph shut his book, and with a candle in his hand, descended to the ground floor, to ascertain that all lights were extinct and all doors locked. It was a threadbare, well-worn house that he thus examined, as if the inmates had grazed down all luxuriance and plenty to the verge of decency; and in the night, bereft of life, bare places and ancient blemishes were unpleasantly visible. Katharine Hilbery, he thought, would ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... family group were accustomed to take there. One person, a gaunt figure, with melancholy and bravery stamped on his emaciated features, is often present to the recollection of us all. He was clad in a threadbare blue uniform great coat, with a black stock, a rusty old hat, pulled rather over his eyes; his hands without gloves; but his aspect was that of a perfect gentleman, and his step that of a military man. We saw him constantly ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... and not for any sinister end; who supports the measures which his understanding and conscience approve, and will have nothing to do with any other institutions or measures;—such a man, though his hands be callous with labour or his clothes threadbare through poverty, deserves the respect of the community. I would rather be such a man than a second Napoleon cutting Europe into kingdoms and tossing crowns ...
— The Religion of Politics • Ezra S. Gannett



Words linked to "Threadbare" :   tired, stock, old-hat, commonplace, unoriginal, shopworn, timeworn, worn, trite, well-worn



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