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Word of the Day
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Definitions for cleave

  1. To adhere closely; stick; cling.
  2. To remain faithful.
  3. To split or divide by or as if by a cutting blow, especially along a natural line of division, as the grain of wood.

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Citations for cleave
It bothers him as much as it bothers you, but he is a man of faith and the Bible says that a man should leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife. H.O. Fischer, For This Land
I will confide in thee. But if you betray my confidence, a father's curse shall cleave to you. Sir Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak
Origin of cleave
900
Cleave is actually related to two separate but similar Old English words. Cleofan meant “to split,” while clifian meant “to adhere.” Today the same word carries both meanings.