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[klev-is] /ˈklɛv ɪs/
a U -shaped yoke at the end of a chain or rod, between the ends of which a lever, hook, etc., can be pinned or bolted.
Origin of clevis
First recorded in 1585-95; akin to cleave2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for clevis
Historical Examples
  • But Irish Fallon reached for him as he fumbled at the clevis.

    The Promise James B. Hendryx
  • clevis—that part of a plow by which the drawing power is attached.

    The Elements of Agriculture George E. Waring
  • "The clevis is rather small, but it's the strongest I could find," Kenwyne said.

    Harding of Allenwood Harold Bindloss
  • The clevis is also used on some plows to regulate the width of the furrow.

    The First Book of Farming Charles L. Goodrich
  • With this clevis a loop can be made around any small log or tree without the trouble of cutting to fit the ring.

    Fox Trapping A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
  • Then he started back toward the boat, after picking up a clevis which it seems the driver-boy had dropped.

    Vandemark's Folly Herbert Quick
  • His arms were manacled with strong loops round his wrists, resembling a clevis, connected by a strong iron bolt.

    American Slave Trade Jesse Torrey
  • Cast-iron fronts usually have a projection in the center for the clevis hitch.

    Farm Mechanics Herbert A. Shearer
  • The battle was fought on the line of the cross-bar and in the triangle between it and the clevis.

  • On some plows there are only notches in the clevis for holding the ring, they answer the same purpose as holes.

    The First Book of Farming Charles L. Goodrich
British Dictionary definitions for clevis


the U-shaped component of a shackle for attaching a drawbar to a plough or similar implement
Word Origin
C16: related to cleave1
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 clevis

"U-shaped iron bar with holes for a bolt or pin, used as a fastener," 1590s, of unknown origin, perhaps from the root of cleave (v.2). Also uncertain is whether it is originally a plural or a singular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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