[ sleev ]
/ sliv /


the part of a garment that covers the arm, varying in form and length but commonly tubular.
an envelope, usually of paper, for protecting a phonograph record.
Machinery. a tubular piece, as of metal, fitting over a rod or the like.

verb (used with object), sleeved, sleev·ing.

to furnish with sleeves.
Machinery. to fit with a sleeve; join or fasten by means of a sleeve.


    have something up one's sleeve, to have a secret plan, scheme, opinion, or the like: I could tell by her sly look that she had something up her sleeve.
    laugh up/in one's sleeve, to be secretly amused or contemptuous; laugh inwardly: to laugh up one's sleeve at someone's affectations.

Origin of sleeve

before 950; Middle English sleve, Old English slēfe (Anglian), slīefe; akin to Dutch sloof apron
Related formssleeve·like, adjectiveun·sleeved, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sleeving

British Dictionary definitions for sleeving (1 of 2)


/ (ˈsliːvɪŋ) /


electronics, mainly British tubular flexible insulation into which bare wire can be insertedUS and Canadian name: spaghetti

British Dictionary definitions for sleeving (2 of 2)


/ (sliːv) /



(tr) to provide with a sleeve or sleeves
Derived Formssleeveless, adjectivesleevelike, adjective

Word Origin for sleeve

Old English slīf, slēf; related to Dutch sloof apron
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

Word Origin and History for sleeving



Old English sliefe (West Saxon), slefe (Mercian) "arm-covering part of a garment," probably literally "that into which the arm slips," from Proto-Germanic *slaubjon (cf. Middle Low German sloven "to dress carelessly," Old High German sloufen "to put on or off"). Related to Old English slefan, sliefan "to slip on (clothes)" and slupan "to slip, glide," from PIE root *sleubh- "to slide, slip."

Cf. slipper, Old English slefescoh "slipper," slip (n.) "woman's garment," and expression to slip into "to dress in"). Mechanical sense is attested from 1864. To have something up one's sleeve is recorded from c.1500 (large sleeves formerly doubled as pockets). Meaning "the English Channel" translates French La Manche.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sleeving


see card up one's sleeve; laugh up one's sleeve; roll up one's sleeves; wear one's heart on one's sleeve.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.