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.
- cleav·ing·ly, adverb
Other definitions for cleave (2 of 2)
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).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cleave in a sentence
These bacteria produce antibiotic-cleaving enzymes that work as molecular scissors, which are released into and kept inside the periplasmic space.How to Outwit Evolution - Issue 103: Healthy Communication | Lina Zeldovich | July 14, 2021 | Nautilus
Questions immediately arose about what could have caused more than 50 apartments to suddenly cleave away from the rest of the building.‘Something Off’: Miami Collapse Complex Had Issues | Justin Rohrlich, Zoe Richards | June 24, 2021 | The Daily Beast
Some limestone is cleaved from the cliff with a pickaxe and burned in a kiln.Carbon, It’s Elementary, Dear Reader - Issue 99: Universality | John Barnett | April 14, 2021 | Nautilus
Walter Isaacson’s The Code Breaker cleaves even more closely to scientific laboratories, following the personalities behind the making of CRISPR.
More recently, universalism has become a dividing line of its own that cleaves through traditional conceptions of political “left” and “right.”
Van cleave maintains that in this day and age, however, Digital Detox Week is "unimplementable."
Were the members of them to receive the truth, and jointly to cleave to it, these societies would thereby perish.The Ordinance of Covenanting | John Cunningham
In Covenanting, there should be made engagements to cleave to new correct views of truth and duty.The Ordinance of Covenanting | John Cunningham
His tongue would cleave to his mouth in a woman's presence, let alone his lying to her.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
She would cleave to the good God Lucifer, and she aspired to be the bride of Asmodeus.Devil-Worship in France | Arthur Edward Waite
Lift high the sword, cleave down the haughty warrior, And dip thy spear in blood, thou son of Odin!The Death of Balder | Johannes Ewald
British Dictionary definitions for cleave (1 of 2)
to split or cause to split, esp along a natural weakness
(tr) to make by or as if by cutting: to cleave a path
(when intr, foll by through) to penetrate or traverse
- cleavable, adjective
- cleavability, noun
British Dictionary definitions for cleave (2 of 2)
(intr foll by to) to cling or adhere
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