- informal the separation between a woman's breasts, esp as revealed by a low-cut dress
- a division or split
- (of crystals) the act of splitting or the tendency to split along definite planes so as to yield smooth surfaces
Also called: segmentation (in animals) the repeated division of a fertilized ovum into a solid ball of cells (a morula), which later becomes hollow (a blastula)
- the breaking of a chemical bond in a molecule to give smaller molecules or radicals
- the natural splitting of certain rocks, or minerals such as slates, or micas along the planes of weakness
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
- [uncountable] the act of cleaving or splitting.
- [countable] the state of being cleft:a cleavage between the lower and upper classes.
- [uncountable] the area between a woman's breasts, esp. when revealed by a low-cut neckline.
- the act of cleaving or splitting.
- the state of being cleft.
- the area between a woman's breasts, esp. when revealed by a low-cut neckline.
- a critical division in opinion, beliefs, interests, etc., as leading to opposition between two groups:a growing cleavage between the Conservative and Liberal wings of the party.
- Rocksthe tendency of crystals, certain minerals, rocks, etc., to break in preferred directions so as to yield more or less smooth surfaces(cleav′age planes′).
- Developmental Biology[Embryol.]the total or partial division of the egg into smaller cells or blastomeres.
- ChemistryAlso called scission. [Chem.]the breaking down of a molecule or compound into simpler structures.
- cleave2 + -age 1810–20