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sleave

[ sleev ]
/ sliv /
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verb (used with object), sleaved, sleav·ing.
to divide or separate into filaments, as silk.
noun
anything matted or raveled.
a filament of silk obtained by separating a thicker thread.
a silk in the form of such filaments.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of sleave

1585–95; Old English -slǣfan (only in the compound tōslǣfan), akin to slīfan to split; see sliver

OTHER WORDS FROM sleave

un·sleaved, adjective

Words nearby sleave

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use sleave in a sentence

  • “I love you—I love you—” until at last sleep helped to knit up the ravelled sleave of care.

    Olive in Italy|Moray Dalton
  • The Italian form is sciamito, "a kind of sleave, feret, or filosello silke" (Florio).

British Dictionary definitions for sleave

sleave
/ (sliːv) /

noun
a tangled thread
a thin filament unravelled from a thicker thread
mainly poetic anything matted or complicated
verb
to disentangle (twisted thread, etc)

Word Origin for sleave

Old English slǣfan to divide; related to Middle Low German slēf, Norwegian sleiv big spoon
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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