[ klee-verz ]
/ ˈkli vərz /

noun, plural cleav·ers.

a North American plant, Galium aparine, of the madder family, having short, hooked bristles on the stems and leaves and bearing very small white flowers.
any of certain related species.
Also clivers.

Origin of cleavers

before 1000; Middle English clivre, Old English clife burdock (-re probably by association with Middle English clivres (plural) claws, or with the agent noun from cleven to cleave1, whence the modern spelling)
Also called catchweed, goose grass.

Definition for cleavers (2 of 2)

[ klee-ver ]
/ ˈkli vər /


a heavy, broad-bladed knife or long-bladed hatchet, especially one used by butchers for cutting meat into joints or pieces.
a person or thing that cleaves.

Origin of cleaver

First recorded in 1325–75, cleaver is from the Middle English word clevere. See cleave2, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cleavers

British Dictionary definitions for cleavers (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkliːvəz) /


(functioning as singular) a Eurasian rubiaceous plant, Galium aparine, having small white flowers and prickly stems and fruitsAlso called: goosegrass, hairif, sticky willie

Word Origin for cleavers

Old English clīfe; related to clīfan to cleave ²

British Dictionary definitions for cleavers (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkliːvə) /


a heavy knife or long-bladed hatchet, esp one used by butchers
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

Science definitions for cleavers

[ klēvər ]

A bifacial stone tool flaked to produce a straight, sharp, relatively wide edge at one end. Cleavers are early core tools associated primarily with the Acheulian tool culture.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.