Etymology
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threadbare (adj.)

late 14c., from thread (n.) + bare. The notion is of "having the nap worn off," leaving bare the threads.

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Definitions of threadbare

threadbare (adj.)
repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse;
repeating threadbare jokes
Synonyms: banal / commonplace / hackneyed / old-hat / shopworn / stock / timeworn / tired / trite / well-worn
threadbare (adj.)
having the nap worn away so that the threads show through;
threadbare rugs
From wordnet.princeton.edu