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cleave

1
[ kleev ]
/ kliv /
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See synonyms for: cleave / clave / cleft / cloven on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), cleaved or (Archaic) clave; cleaved; cleav·ing.
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.
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Origin of cleave

1
before 900; Middle English cleven,Old English cleofian, cognate with Old High German klebēn (German kleben)

OTHER WORDS FROM cleave

cleav·ing·ly, adverb

Other definitions for cleave (2 of 2)

cleave2
[ kleev ]
/ kliv /

verb (used with object), cleft or cleaved or clove, cleft or cleaved or clo·ven, cleav·ing.
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.
verb (used without object), cleft or cleaved or clove, cleft or cleaved or clo·ven, cleav·ing.
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 cleave

2
before 950; Middle English cleven,Old English clēofan, cognate with Old High German klioban (German klieben), Old Norse kljūfa; akin to Greek glýphein to carve, Latin glūbere to peel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use cleave in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cleave (1 of 2)

cleave1
/ (kliːv) /

verb cleaves, cleaving, cleft, cleaved, clove, cleft, cleaved or cloven
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

Derived forms of cleave

cleavable, adjectivecleavability, noun

Word Origin for cleave

Old English clēofan; related to Old Norse kljūfa, Old High German klioban, Latin glūbere to peel

British Dictionary definitions for cleave (2 of 2)

cleave2
/ (kliːv) /

verb
(intr foll by to) to cling or adhere

Word Origin for cleave

Old English cleofian; related to Old High German klebēn to stick
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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