verb (used without object), cleaved or (Archaic) clave; cleaved; cleav·ing.
Origin of cleave1
verb (used with object), cleft or cleaved or clove, cleft or cleaved or clo·ven, cleav·ing.
verb (used without object), cleft or cleaved or clove, cleft or cleaved or clo·ven, cleav·ing.
Origin of cleave2
Synonyms for cleave
Related Words for clovenhew, sunder, rive, pierce, cut, rend, separate, divorce, dissect, hack, rip, chop, crack, part, stab, slice, disunite, carve, open, whack
Examples from the Web for cloven
Historical Examples of cloven
Those cataracts of cloven earth; they were done by the grace of God.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
Yet let us enjoy the cloven flame whilst it glows on our walls.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The cloven hoof of the Socialist peeps out from a little group.Dreamers of the Ghetto
I was almost happy; the cloven hoof had peeped so damningly out.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
The stride was about eight feet, the marks as of the cloven hoofs of an ox.A Labrador Doctor
Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
verb cleaves, cleaving, cleft, cleaved, clove, cleft, cleaved or cloven
Word Origin for cleave
Word Origin for cleave
"divided, split," Old English clofen, past participle adjective from cleave (v.1).
"to split," Old English cleofan, cleven, cliven "to split, separate" (class II strong verb, past tense cleaf, past participle clofen), from Proto-Germanic *kleubanan (cf. Old Saxon klioban, Old Norse kljufa, Danish klöve, Dutch kloven, Old High German klioban, German klieben "to cleave, split"), from PIE root *gleubh- "to cut, slice" (see glyph).
Past tense form clave is recorded in Northern writers from 14c. and was used with both verbs (see cleave (v.2)), apparently by analogy with other Middle English strong verbs. Clave was common to c.1600 and still alive at the time of the KJV; weak past tense cleaved for this verb also emerged in 14c.; cleft is still later. The past participle cloven survives, though mostly in compounds.
"to adhere," Middle English cleven, clevien, cliven, from Old English clifian, cleofian, from West Germanic *klibajanan (cf. Old Saxon klibon, Old High German kliban, Dutch kleven, Old High German kleben, German kleben "to stick, cling, adhere"), from PIE *gloi- "to stick" (see clay). The confusion was less in Old English when cleave (v.1) was a class 2 strong verb; but it has grown since cleave (v.1) weakened, which may be why both are largely superseded by stick (v.) and split (v.).