WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
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. 
  • Zoologycloven;
    split;
    divided.

  • WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
    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 pronunciationorcleavedorclove/kloʊv/USA pronunciationcleftorcleavedorclo•ven/ˈkloʊvən/USA pronunciationcleav•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.


    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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