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

  • n. A U-shaped metal piece with holes in each end through which a pin or bolt is run, used as a fastening device.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A U-shaped coupling having holes at each end, through which a bolt is run; used especially to fit attachments to a tractor or other vehicle as it allows a degree of rotation about the bolt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece of metal bent in the form of an oxbow, with the two ends perforated to receive a pin, used on the end of the tongue of a plow, wagen, etc., to attach it to a draft chain, whiffletree, etc.; -- called also clavel, clevy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An iron bent in the form of a stirrup, horseshoe, or the letter U, with the two ends perforated to receive a pin, used to connect a draft-chain or whipple-tree to a cart or plow.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a coupler shaped like the letter U with holes through each end so a bolt or pin can pass through the holes to complete the coupling; used to attach a drawbar to a plow or wagon or trailer etc.


From clevi, possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse klofi, cleft.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1590s. Origin unknown; probably derived from the verb "to cleave". If so, the word ultimately may stem from Scandinavian: cf. Old Norse kljufa (to split). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Between the idea and the start
    The want and the will stand apart.
    We need a strong clevis
    To tackle that crevice
    And harness the horse to the cart.

    February 11, 2015

  • JM is secure in his belief in the innate cleverness of all forms of clevis.

    October 5, 2010