[ kleet ]
See synonyms for cleat on
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  1. a strip of wood, metal, etc., fastened across a surface, as of a plank or series of adjacent planks, for strength or support.

  2. 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.

  3. a shoe fitted with such projections.

  4. a metal plate fastened to the sole or heel of a shoe, to protect against wear.

  5. Shipbuilding. a hook-shaped piece of metal supporting a small structural member.

  6. 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.

  7. the cleavage plane of coal as found in a mine.

verb (used with object)
  1. 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

Words Nearby cleat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cleat in a sentence

  • The center cleat prevents the boards from buckling while the sides are tightly held by these simple flat fasteners.

  • Where the strain is not too great the holders may be used without a cleat, making an effective flat fastening.

  • When the squalls came he slackened up or drew in around the cleat as became necessary.

    Ralph Granger's Fortunes | William Perry Brown
  • The young man, clinging to a cleat and watching the struggles of their craft, waved a mittened hand to signify that he agreed.

    Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
  • Then I made fast the end of the line round the main-sheet cleat, for that told me that the man had caught on.

    Wulfric the Weapon Thane | Charles W. Whistler

British Dictionary definitions for cleat


/ (kliːt) /

  1. a wedge-shaped block, usually of wood, attached to a structure to act as a support

  2. a device consisting of two hornlike prongs projecting horizontally in opposite directions from a central base, used for securing lines on vessels, wharves, etc

  1. a short length of angle iron used as a bracket

  2. a piece of metal, leather, etc, attached to the sole of a shoe to prevent wear or slipping

  3. a small triangular-shaped nail used in glazing

  4. any of the main cleavage planes in a coal seam

  1. to supply or support with a cleat or cleats

  2. to secure (a line) on a cleat

Origin of cleat

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