from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To split with or as if with a sharp instrument. See Synonyms at tear1.
- transitive v. To make or accomplish by or as if by cutting: cleave a path through the ice.
- transitive v. To pierce or penetrate: The wings cleaved the foggy air.
- transitive v. Chemistry To split (a complex molecule) into simpler molecules.
- intransitive v. Mineralogy To split or separate, especially along a natural line of division.
- intransitive v. To penetrate or pass through something, such as water or air.
- intransitive v. To adhere, cling, or stick fast.
- intransitive v. To be faithful: cleave to one's principles.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To split or sever something or as if with a sharp instrument.
- v. To break a single crystal (such as a gemstone or semiconductor wafer) along one of its more symmetrical crystallographic planes (often by impact), forming facets on the resulting pieces.
- v. To make or accomplish by or as if by cutting.
- v. To split (a complex molecule) into simpler molecules.
- v. To split.
- v. Of a crystal, to split along a natural plane of division.
- n. Flat, smooth surface produced by cleavage, or any similar surface produced by similar techniques, as in glass.
- v. To cling, adhere or stick fast to something; used with to or unto.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To adhere closely; to stick; to hold fast; to cling.
- intransitive v. To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment.
- intransitive v. To fit; to be adapted; to assimilate.
- transitive v. To part or divide by force; to split or rive; to cut.
- transitive v. To part or open naturally; to divide.
- intransitive v. To part; to open; to crack; to separate; as parts of bodies.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To stick; adhere; be attached; cling: often used figuratively.
- To fit closely.
- To part or divide by force; rend apart; split or rive; separate or sunder into parts, or (figuratively) seem to do so: as, to cleave wood; to cleave a rock.
- To produce or effect by cleavage or clearance; make a way for by force; hew out: as, to cleave a path through a wilderness.
- . To part or open naturally.
- Synonyms Split, Rip, etc. See rend.
- To come apart; divide; split; open; especially, to split with a smooth plane fracture, or in layers, as certain minerals and rocks. See cleavage, 2 and 3.
- In agriculture, to replow (old ridges) in such a manner as to divide each in the middle. See cleaving. Also split.
- n. In mining, a subdivision of a bed, usually of iron ore; a bench.
- n. A basket or basketful: as a cleave of potatoes, or of turf.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. make by cutting into
- v. separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
- v. come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation
Middle English cleven, from Old English clēofan; see gleubh- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English cleven, from Old English cleofian.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Old English strong verb clēofan, from Proto-Germanic *kleubanan, from Proto-Indo-European *glewbʰ- (“to cut, to slice”). Cognate with Swedish klyva, Dutch klieven, dialectal German klieben, and Greek γλύφω (glyfó, "carve"). (Wiktionary)
From Old English cleofian, from Proto-Germanic *klibjanan, from Proto-Indo-European *gley- (“to stick”). Cognates include German kleben, Dutch kleven. (Wiktionary)