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cleave (verb) split; sever; stick to.

When you cleave a thing, you cut it in two or more parts with a sharp instrument. You cleave a piece of meat with a cleaver, that is, a sharp knife. 'Cleaving the body of the enemy in two with his sharp sword, he declared that his desire for revenge had been fulfilled.' This means, he cut his enemy's body in two, to satisfy his revenge. To cling to something, or to stick to something, is also to cleave. Some mud is cleaving to his clothes. This means that some mud is sticking to his clothes. When you do not give up your job, in spite of long work hours and low pay, you cleave to the job. Martin Luther King Jr., clove to his stand of passive resistance, in spite of police attack on him. That is, police attacks did not change his mind about not using violence or force. 'The shirt clove to his body, showing his muscles.' This means that the curves of the muscles could be seen because the shirt was very tight.

  • With his sharp cleaver, it did not take much time or effort for the experienced butcher to cleave the large hunk of meat into small pieces.
  • The leader clove to his stand that to make the country totally literate, elementary education should be made compulsory and free for every child of school-going age.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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