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[kleet] /klit/
a wedge-shaped block fastened to a surface to serve as a check or support:
He nailed cleats into the sides of the bookcase to keep the supports from slipping.
a strip of metal, wood, or the like, fastened across a surface, as a ramp or gangway, to provide sure footing or to maintain an object in place.
a strip of wood, metal, etc., fastened across a surface, as of a plank or series of adjacent planks, for strength or support.
a conical or rectangular projection, usually of hard rubber, or a metal strip with sharp projections, built into or attached to the sole of a shoe to provide greater traction.
a shoe fitted with such projections.
a metal plate fastened to the sole or heel of a shoe, to protect against wear.
Shipbuilding. a hook-shaped piece of metal supporting a small structural member.
Also called belaying cleat. Nautical. an object of wood or metal having one or two projecting horns to which ropes may be belayed, especially as fixed to the deck, bulkhead, or stanchion of a vessel.
the cleavage plane of coal as found in a mine.
verb (used with object)
to supply or strengthen with cleats; fasten to or with a cleat.
Origin of cleat
1350-1400; Middle English clete wedge, cognate with Old High German klōz lump, ball, Dutch kloot; akin to clot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cleated
Historical Examples
  • A large one of the latter, cleated in the centre of the floor, does service as a table.

  • Some were floating against the roof, and some were entangled in the cleated chairs.

  • One end of the private-car was a luxurious stable, in which the white horse climbed along a cleated gang-way.

    The Trimming of Goosie James Hopper
  • In another moment the timber under him was splitting and giving way at the cleated join, and sagging threateningly.

    Roy Blakeley in the Haunted Camp

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • A breathless hush—the shrill whistle of the referee—the thump of cleated shoe against the ball and the game was on.

    The Upward Path Various
  • From the float a cleated plank gave access to the lower deck of the boat, if a deck it could be called.

  • Before the words were out we could hear the dull stroke of the picks sinking into the cleated doors.

    Held for Orders Frank H. Spearman
  • Each door can be made of a single piece of board, cleated (see Doors).

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • The ends of valuable boards and planks are sometimes painted or cleated, which in a measure prevents this result.

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
  • The door can be made of boards, cleated, as already shown, or one can be bought ready-made.

    Woodworking for Beginners Charles Gardner Wheeler
British Dictionary definitions for cleated


a wedge-shaped block, usually of wood, attached to a structure to act as a support
a device consisting of two hornlike prongs projecting horizontally in opposite directions from a central base, used for securing lines on vessels, wharves, etc
a short length of angle iron used as a bracket
a piece of metal, leather, etc, attached to the sole of a shoe to prevent wear or slipping
a small triangular-shaped nail used in glazing
any of the main cleavage planes in a coal seam
verb (transitive)
to supply or support with a cleat or cleats
to secure (a line) on a cleat
Word Origin
C14: of Germanic origin, compare Old High German chlōz clod, lump, Dutch kloot ball
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cleated



c.1300, clete "wedge," from Old English *cleat "a lump," from West Germanic *klaut "firm lump" (cf. Middle Low German klot, klute, Middle Dutch cloot, Dutch kloot, Old High German kloz, German kloß "clod, dumpling"). In Middle English, a wedge of wood bolted to a spar, etc., to keep it from slipping (late 14c.). Meaning "thin metal plate for shoes, etc." is c.1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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