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Cleave Definition

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Other Cleave Definition

[v] come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation; "The dress clings to her body"; "The label stuck to the box"; "The sushi rice grains cohere"
[v] separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument; "cleave the bone"
[v] make by cutting into; "The water is going to cleave a channel into the rock"


adhere, cling, cohere, rive, split, stick

Misc. Definitions

\Cleave\ (kl[=e]v), v. i. [imp. {Cleaved} (kl[=e]vd), {Clave} (kl[=a]v, Obs.); p. p. {Cleaved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Cleaving}.] [OE. cleovien, clivien, cliven, AS. cleofian, clifian; akin to OS. klib[=o]n, G. kleben, LG. kliven, D. kleven, Dan. kl[ae]be, Sw. klibba, and also to G. kleiben to cleve, paste, Icel. kl[=i]fa to climb. Cf. {Climb}.]
1. To adhere closely; to stick; to hold fast; to cling. My bones cleave to my skin. --Ps. cii.
5. The diseases of Egypt . . . shall cleave unto thee. --Deut. xxviii. 60. Sophistry cleaves close to and protects Sin's rotten trunk, concealing its defects. --Cowper.
2. To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife. --Gen. ii. 2
4. Cleave unto the Lord your God. --Josh. xxiii.
3. To fit; to be adapted; to assimilate. [Poetic.] New honors come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold But with the aid of use. --Shak.
\Cleave\ (kl[=e]v), v. t. [imp. {Cleft} (kl[e^]ft), {Clave} (kl[=a]v, Obs.), {Clove} (kl[=o]v, Obsolescent); p. p. {Cleft}, {Cleaved} (kl[=e]vd) or {Cloven} (kl[=o]"v'n); p. pr. & vb. n. {Cleaving}.] [OE. cleoven, cleven, AS. cle['o]fan; akin to OS. klioban, D. klooven, G. klieben, Icel. klj[=u]fa, Sw. klyfva, Dan. kl["o]ve and prob. to Gr. gly`fein to carve, L. glubere to peel. Cf. {Cleft}.]
1. To part or divide by force; to split or rive; to cut. O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain. --Shak.
2. To part or open naturally; to divide. Every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws. --Deut. xiv.
\Cleave\, v. i. To part; to open; to crack; to separate; as parts of bodies; as, the ground cleaves by frost. The Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst. --Zech. xiv. 4.

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