[ sleev ]
/ sliv /

verb (used with object), sleaved, sleav·ing.

to divide or separate into filaments, as silk.


anything matted or raveled.
a filament of silk obtained by separating a thicker thread.
a silk in the form of such filaments.

Origin of sleave

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

Related forms

un·sleaved, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sleave

British Dictionary definitions for sleave


/ (sliːv) /


a tangled thread
a thin filament unravelled from a thicker thread
mainly poetic anything matted or complicated


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