- 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
- a tangled thread
- a thin filament unravelled from a thicker thread
- mainly poetic anything matted or complicated
- to disentangle (twisted thread, etc)
Word Origin and History for sleaving
"to separate or divide" (threads, strands, fibers), Old English -slæfan, from stem of -slifan "to separate, split, cleave," from Proto-Germanic *slifanan, perhaps related to the root of slip (v.). Cf. German Schleife "a loop, knot, noose." Related: Sleaved; sleaving. As a noun, "knotted, tangled silk or thread," 1590s, from the verb; this is the word in Shakespeare's rauel'd Sleeue of Care ("Macbeth").