- simple past tense of cleave1.
- one of a pair of wooden sticks or blocks that are held one in each hand and are struck together to accompany music and dancing.
Origin of clave2
- 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 for cleave on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for clave
As Ruth clave unto Naomi, so my friend the Philanthropist clave unto me.Pages From an Old Volume of Life
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
“He loved one only, and he clave to her,” and there was room in his heart for none other.The White Rose of Langley
Emily Sarah Holt
Fern was devoted to her mother, she clave to her with innocent love and loyalty.Wee Wifie
Rosa Nouchette Carey
My tongue, as the Bible expresses it, clave to the roof of my mouth.Fifty-Two Stories For Girls
It clave to the men of Tainaros only because they clave to Hellenic idols.Studies of Travel - Greece
Edward A. Freeman
- music one of a pair of hardwood sticks struck together to make a hollow sound, esp to mark the beat of Latin-American dance music
- archaic a past tense of cleave 1
- zoology a clublike thickening at the upper end of an organ, esp of the antenna of an insect
- 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 clave
"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.).