a threadbare cardigan

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Senior Member
Miss Quinney came to the door wearing a threadbare knitted cardigan, faded corduroys and a bobble hat, and declared that she was far too busy to talk to them.
Source: Killer on the Fens by Joy Ellis

When I googled for images for “threadbare cardigan”, the browser threw out images of cardigans that there is nothing threadbare about them. Most photos are footnoted with the word threadbare. Does threadbare means anything other than thin from overuse?

Thank you.
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Image searches are not intelligent, though they often return useful results. When you search for images, the search engine uses the words that appear near an image on the Web page in its selection process. If the image has what Web designers call a <figcaption> or an alt attribute (a brief description for people, such as the visually impaired or those using a text-only browser, who do not see the image), those take priority, but the text is still used to supplement them. It will return images of cardigans that appear near the word "threadbare." The search engine has no way to know if the word refers to that image or to something else.


    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    In the images that I find on Google, "Threadbare" seems to be the name of a company, not a description of the cardigans.
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