Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • v. Archaic A past tense of cleave1.
  • v. Archaic A past tense of cleave2.
  • n. A cylindrical hardwood stick used in a pair as a percussion instrument.
  • n. A syncopated two-bar musical pattern.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One half of a set of claves, a percussion instrument consisting of two sticks, one of which is used to strike the other.
  • n. A characteristic pattern of beats, especially the 3-2 son clave.
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of cleave.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. of cleave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Obsolete preterit of cleave or cleave.
  • n. A kind of stool used by ship-carpenters.
  • n. A graft; a scion.

Etymologies

American Spanish, from Spanish, keystone, from Latin clāvis, key.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish clave, from Latin clāvis ("key"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She said no more at that time; but her word clave to

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • His sword clave the stoutest armor asunder at a blow.

    Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8 A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more than 200 of the most prominent personages in History

  • And for that word, when he came to the crown indeed, and ruled wide lands, was he called Child Christopher; and that name clave to him after he was dead, and but a name in the tale of his kindred.

    Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair

  • And when Sir Mordred felt he had his death wound, he raised himself up and struck King Arthur such a blow that the sword clave his helmet, and then fell stark dead on the earth again.

    The Book of Romance

  • Dancers sweating, moving their feet and swinging their hips around the floor to the "clave" rhythm of the percussion beats, beautiful young couples, contented middle-aged couples, single women dancing with one another or alone, single men on the sidelines watching the women and enjoying the pyrotechnical skills of the band.

    Pamela Mays McDonald: Campaign Journal: Young San Francisco Does Its Part for Obama While Dancing

  • Ruth and Naomi (the word "clave" is used to describe their relationship, which is exactly the same word used in describing husband-wife relationships); David and Jonathan; and Daniel and Ashpenaz (the Hebrew describing their relationship is chesed v'rachimin-chesed translates as "mercy" but v'rachimin, which is used in a plural form suggesting more than one of its usual meanings, which includes "physical love").

    Dangerous Intersection

  • Eurosistema … sin alejarse de la participación equivalente a la "clave" del Banco de España en el capital del BCE ".

    A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros

  • Persona, cosa o hecho clave y fundamental dentro de un ámbito o contexto.

    Hito

  • Mr. Sánchez and the Cuban players struggled to find common ground, particularly in melding rock's backbeat with clave, an accented Latin beat.

    Detour Through Cuba

  • Her recording of the "Rolling Stone" has generous production values, i.e., a full band, but I much prefer the slower live version, with just Tracey Stark on piano and the understated hint of a clave pattern.

    Ranging Far and Wide

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