noun, plural cleav·ers.
- cleavage product,
- cleavage site,
- cleavage spindle,
Origin of cleavers
Origin of cleaver
Examples from the Web for cleavers
Some people swear by cleavers; others (like me) are terrified by them.
And now the bark is sailing up the Thames, with bells ringing, bonfires blazing, and "bones and cleavers" clashing.Alexander Pope|Leslie Stephen
Before him was a glass counter wherein were displayed knives and cleavers and scissors and other cutlery.Stubble|George Looms
Then there arrived the butchers, with their marrowbones and cleavers, and began to make their music with zeal.The Lady of Lynn|Walter Besant
A performer on the bass viol, and a herd of butchers armed with marrow-bones and cleavers, form an English concert.
The antique fireplace and the ancient mantelpiece were forced to keep company with meat blocks and butchers' cleavers.Duffels|Edward Eggleston
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]