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THREAD. A figurative expression used to signify the central line of a stream or water course. Harg. Tracts, 5; 4 Mason's Rep. 397; Holt's R. 490. Vide Filum aguae; Island; Water course; River.

References in classic literature ?
He was brilliant, but so was Maud, and for some time I lost the thread of the conversation through studying her face as she talked.
He stopped, shivered a little, and lost the thread of his recollections at that point.
He cannot go back, and maybe could not proceed at all if once he lost the thread of his thought.
Sir Patrick waited until he had thoroughly lost the thread of his narrative--and then played for the winning trick.
And that's a really awesome and comforting thought -- that we are not in this alone, especially at a time when it seems too many of us have lost the thread.
Praggnanandhaa was able to smash Gujrathi's kingside following an exchange sacrifice, but the youngster eventually lost the thread when he allowed Gujrathi to consolidate his position and launch a counterattack that forced Praggnanandhaa to give up more material.