cleft

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 /klɛft/

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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
cleft1 /klɛft/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a space or opening made by cleavage;
    a split:a cleft in the rock formations.
  2. a hollow area or indentation: a cleft in her chin.

cleft2 /klɛft/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. a pt. and pp. of cleave2.

adj. 
  1. Zoologycloven;
    split;
    divided.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
cleft1  (kleft),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a space or opening made by cleavage;
    a split.
  2. a division formed by cleaving.
  3. a hollow area or indentation:a chin with a cleft.
  4. Veterinary Diseasesa crack on the bend of the pastern of a horse.
  • 1300–50; Middle English clift, Old English (ge)clyft split, cracked; cognate with Old High German, Old Norse kluft; akin to cleave2
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged fissure, crevice, crack, rift, cranny, chasm, crevasse.

cleft2  (kleft),USA pronunciation v. 
  1. a pt. and pp. of  cleave 2.

adj. 
  1. Zoologycloven;
    split;
    divided.
  2. Botany(of a leaf, corolla, lobe, or other expanded plant part) having divisions formed by incisions or narrow sinuses that extend more than halfway to the midrib or the base.
  • see cleft1

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
cleave1 /kliv/USA pronunciation   v. [+ to + object], cleaved, cleav•ing. 
  1. to stick closely to;
    cling:His tongue cleaved to the roof of his mouth.
  2. to remain faithful: to cleave to one's principles.

cleave2 /kliv/USA pronunciation   v.,  cleft /klɛft/USA pronunciation  or cleaved or clove/kloʊv/USA pronunciation  cleft or cleaved or clo•ven/ˈkloʊvən/USA pronunciation  cleav•ing. 
  1. to (cause to) split or divide by or as if by a cutting blow: [no object]The wood cleaved in two clean pieces.[+ object]He cleaved the wood in two neat pieces.
  2. [+ object] to make by or as if by cutting: to cleave a path through the wilderness.
  3. [~ (+ through) + object] to penetrate or pass through (water, etc.): The bow of the boat cleaved (through) the water cleanly.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
cleave1  (klēv),USA pronunciation v.i.,  cleaved  or (Archaic) clave;
cleaved;
cleav•ing.
 
  1. to adhere closely;
    stick;
    cling (usually fol. by to).
  2. to remain faithful (usually fol. by to):to cleave to one's principles in spite of persecution.
cleaving•ly, adv. 
  • Middle English cleven, Old English cleofian, cognate with Old High German klebēn (German kleben) bef. 900

cleave2  (klēv),USA pronunciation v.,  cleft  or cleaved  or clove, cleft  or cleaved  or clo•ven, cleav•ing. 
v.t. 
  1. to split or divide by or as if by a cutting blow, esp. along a natural line of division, as the grain of wood.
  2. to make by or as if by cutting:to cleave a path through the wilderness.
  3. to penetrate or pass through (air, water, etc.):The bow of the boat cleaved the water cleanly.
  4. to cut off;
    sever:to cleave a branch from a tree.

v.i. 
  1. to part or split, esp. along a natural line of division.
  2. to penetrate or advance by or as if by cutting (usually fol. by through).
  • bef. 950; Middle English cleven, Old English clēofan, cognate with Old High German klioban (German klieben), Old Norse kljūfa; akin to Greek glýphein to carve, Latin glūbere to peel
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged halve, rend, rive.


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

cleft /klɛft/ vb
  1. the past tense and a past participle of cleave1
n
  1. a fissure or crevice
  2. an indentation or split in something, such as the chin, palate, etc
adj
  1. split; divided
Etymology: Old English geclyft (n); related to Old High German kluft tongs, German Kluft gap, fissure; see cleave1



cleave /kliːv/ vb (cleaves, cleaving, cleft, cleaved, clove, cleft, cleaved, cloven)
  1. to split or cause to split, esp along a natural weakness
  2. (transitive) to make by or as if by cutting: to cleave a path
  3. when intr, followed by through: to penetrate or traverse
Etymology: Old English clēofan; related to Old Norse kljūfa, Old High German klioban, Latin glūbere to peel

ˈcleavable adj
cleave /kliːv/ vb
  1. (intransitive) followed by to: to cling or adhere
Etymology: Old English cleofian; related to Old High German klebēn to stick



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