- the dried flower bud of a tropical tree, Syzygium aromaticum, of the myrtle family, used whole or ground as a spice.
- the tree itself.
Origin of clove1
- one of the small bulbs formed in the axils of the scales of a mother bulb, as in garlic.
Origin of clove2
- a simple past tense of cleave2.
- a British unit of weight for wool, cheese, etc., usually equivalent to 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms).
Origin of clove4
- to adhere closely; stick; cling (usually followed by to).
- to remain faithful (usually followed by to): to cleave to one's principles in spite of persecution.
Origin of cleave1
- to split or divide by or as if by a cutting blow, especially along a natural line of division, as the grain of wood.
- to make by or as if by cutting: to cleave a path through the wilderness.
- to penetrate or pass through (air, water, etc.): The bow of the boat cleaved the water cleanly.
- to cut off; sever: to cleave a branch from a tree.
- to part or split, especially along a natural line of division.
- to penetrate or advance by or as if by cutting (usually followed by through).
Origin of cleave2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for clove
Score the now trimmed fat into a diamond pattern with a sharp knife, and stud the points of each diamond with a clove.Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Easy Trifle
The Daily Beast
December 23, 2008
Pass through a sieve, add a clove of garlic with a cut in it, and boil.
A clove of garlic with one cut may be added for five minutes.
They was in a clove hitch again and whisperin' soft and slushy.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
As for myself, I clove the leader through the skull with one stroke.Arthur O'Leary
Charles James Lever
Once more Theodoric clove her in twain; once more the severed parts united.Theodoric the Goth
- a tropical evergreen myrtaceous tree, Syzygium aromaticum, native to the East Indies but cultivated elsewhere, esp Zanzibar
- the dried unopened flower buds of this tree, used as a pungent fragrant spice
- any of the segments of a compound bulb that arise from the axils of the scales of a large bulb
- a past tense of cleave 1
- to split or cause to split, esp along a natural weakness
- (tr) to make by or as if by cuttingto cleave a path
- (when intr, foll by through) to penetrate or traverse
- (intr foll by to) to cling or adhere
Word Origin and History for clove
dried flowerbud of a certain tropical tree, used as a spice, late 15c., earlier clowes (14c.), from Anglo-French clowes de gilofre (c.1200), Old French clou de girofle "nail of gillyflower," so called from its shape, from Latin clavus "a nail" (see slot (n.2)). For second element, see gillyflower. The two cloves were much confused in Middle English. The clove pink is so called from the scent of the flowers.
"slice of garlic," Old English clufu "clove (of garlic), bulb, tuber," from Proto-Germanic *klubo "cleft, thing cloven," from PIE *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave" (see cleave (v.1)). Its Germanic cognates mostly lurk in compounds that translate as "clove-leek;" e.g. Old Saxon clufloc, Old High German chlobilouh. Dissimilation produced Dutch knoflook, German knoblauch.
"to split," Old English cleofan, cleven, cliven "to split, separate" (class II strong verb, past tense cleaf, past participle clofen), from Proto-Germanic *kleubanan (cf. Old Saxon klioban, Old Norse kljufa, Danish klöve, Dutch kloven, Old High German klioban, German klieben "to cleave, split"), from PIE root *gleubh- "to cut, slice" (see glyph).
Past tense form clave is recorded in Northern writers from 14c. and was used with both verbs (see cleave (v.2)), apparently by analogy with other Middle English strong verbs. Clave was common to c.1600 and still alive at the time of the KJV; weak past tense cleaved for this verb also emerged in 14c.; cleft is still later. The past participle cloven survives, though mostly in compounds.
"to adhere," Middle English cleven, clevien, cliven, from Old English clifian, cleofian, from West Germanic *klibajanan (cf. Old Saxon klibon, Old High German kliban, Dutch kleven, Old High German kleben, German kleben "to stick, cling, adhere"), from PIE *gloi- "to stick" (see clay). The confusion was less in Old English when cleave (v.1) was a class 2 strong verb; but it has grown since cleave (v.1) weakened, which may be why both are largely superseded by stick (v.) and split (v.).