noun, plural cleav·ers.
Origin of cleavers
Origin of cleaver
Examples from the Web for cleavers
Contemporary Examples of cleavers
Some people swear by cleavers; others (like me) are terrified by them.The 2012 Holiday Kitchen Gift Guide
December 13, 2012
Historical Examples of cleavers
A tremendous noise of cleavers and pans came from the kitchen.The Fat and the Thin
The antique fireplace and the ancient mantelpiece were forced to keep company with meat blocks and butchers' cleavers.Duffels
Before him was a glass counter wherein were displayed knives and cleavers and scissors and other cutlery.Stubble
The town might follow us to church with a serenade of marrowbones and cleavers, as they do the butchers.Mildred Arkell, (Vol 3 of 3)
"Galium tricorne," very much like common goose-grass or cleavers, but rare in England, and quite unknown in this neighbourhood.In a Cheshire Garden
Word Origin for cleavers
late 15c., "one who splits," agent noun from cleave (v.1). Originally "one who splits boards with a wedge instead of sawing;" attested as part of a surname from mid-14c. Meaning "butcher's chopper" is from mid-15c.
This last ["Marrowbones and Cleaver"] is a sign in Fetter Lane, originating from a custom, now rapidly dying away, of the butcher boys serenading newly married couples with these professional instruments. Formerly, the band would consist of four cleavers, each of a different tone, or, if complete, of eight, and by beating their marrowbones skilfully against these, they obtained a sort of music somewhat after the fashion of indifferent bell-ringing. When well performed, however, and heard from a proper distance, it was not altogether unpleasant. ... The butchers of Clare market had the reputation of being the best performers. ... This music was once so common that Tom Killigrew called it the national instrument of England. [Larwood & Hotten, "The History of Signboards from the Earliest Times to the Present Day," London, 1867]