[ sleev ]

verb (used with object),sleaved, sleav·ing.
  1. to divide or separate into filaments, as silk.

  1. anything matted or raveled.

  2. a filament of silk obtained by separating a thicker thread.

  1. 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

Other words from sleave

  • un·sleaved, adjective

Words Nearby sleave Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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


/ (sliːv) /

  1. a tangled thread

  2. a thin filament unravelled from a thicker thread

  1. mainly poetic anything matted or complicated

  1. to disentangle (twisted thread, etc)

Origin of 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