Currently reading this article, there is a line,

Yet there was a common thread: making sure the virus had been suppressed to a level low enough that containment was theoretically possible once business as usual resumed. This meant different things in, say, Germany and Denmark, but the goal was the same.

Does the word "thread" here mean the definition given by Merriam Webster's

: a tenuous or feeble support that offers no real security : an extremely uncertain and problematical turn of events

"a life hanging by a thread"


obsolete : kind, quality, nature

or a literally a thread which turned to mean a "thing" like?


enter image description here

Thank you for your support in advance.

  • 3
    No, it is M-W meaning 3 : something continuous or drawn out. Such as a line of reasoning, or thought, in this case perhaps a common theme. Jul 19, 2020 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


The meaning (from Merriam-Webster) is 3(a):

3 : something continuous or drawn out: such as

a : a line of reasoning or train of thought that connects the parts in a sequence (as of ideas or events)

lost the thread of the story

  • I am beginning to doubt if I should subscribe to a paid Merriam Webster version which covers too much in a sense.
    – user17814
    Jul 19, 2020 at 14:06
  • 1
    @Kentaro Unless you're really into old, advanced literature and/or a university English professor I really can't imagine a need for a paid dictionary subscription.
    – TypeIA
    Jul 19, 2020 at 15:24

You must log in to answer this question.