—v.i. 1. to set down the foot or feet in walking; step; walk.
2. to step, walk, or trample so as to press, crush, or injure something (usually fol. by on or upon): to tread on a person's foot. 3. (of a male bird) to copulate.
—v.t. 1. to step or walk on, about, in, or along.
2. to trample or crush underfoot.
3. to form by the action of walking or trampling: to tread a path. 4. to treat with disdainful harshness or cruelty; crush; oppress.
5. to perform by walking or dancing: to tread a measure. 6. (of a male bird) to copulate with (a female bird).
7. tread on someone's toes or corns, to offend or irritate someone.
8. tread the boards, to act on the stage, esp. professionally: He recalled the days when he had trod the boards. 9. tread water, a. Swimming.to maintain the body erect in the water with the head above the surface usually by a pumping up-and-down movement of the legs and sometimes the arms.
b. Slang.to make efforts that maintain but do not further one's status, progress, or performance: He's just treading water here until he can find another job.
—n. 1. the action of treading, stepping, or walking.
2. the sound of footsteps.
3. manner of treading or walking.
4. a single step as in walking.
5. any of various things or parts on which a person or thing treads, stands, or moves.
6. the part of the under surface of the foot or of a shoe that touches the ground.
7. the horizontal upper surface of a step in a stair, on which the foot is placed.
8. the part of a wheel, tire, or runner that bears on the road, rail, etc. See diag. under tire2.
9. the pattern raised on or cut into the face of a rubber tire.
10. See caterpillar tread. 11. Railroads.that part of a rail in contact with the treads of wheels.