\ ˈklēt How to pronounce cleat (audio) \

Definition of cleat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a wedge-shaped piece fastened to or projecting from something and serving as a support or check
b : a wooden or metal fitting usually with two projecting horns around which a rope may be made fast
2a : a strip fastened across something to give strength or hold in position
b(1) : a projecting piece (as on the bottom of a shoe) that furnishes a grip
(2) cleats plural : shoes equipped with cleats


cleated; cleating; cleats

Definition of cleat (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to secure to or by a cleat
2 : to provide with a cleat

Examples of cleat in a Sentence

Noun a football player wearing cleats
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After Wilson hurled the cleat, the yellow flags flew and referee James Carter got on the stadium public-address system and announced what had just happened. Mike Bianchi,, "After historic blunder, Gators should be renamed FSU — Fling Shoe U | Commentary," 13 Dec. 2020 Butt each cleat to the square and attach it with four 1 1⁄4-inch screws. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build a Low Sawhorse for Your Workshop," 23 Jan. 2021 Another unusual frame as a rogue cleat came up and whacked Garrett in the face mask. cleveland, "See the best photos from every Cleveland Browns game in this remarkable 2020-21 season," 15 Jan. 2021 But make no mistake about it, this game will forever be remembered for the cleat that Marco Wilson hurled into the foggy night. Mike Bianchi,, "After historic blunder, Gators should be renamed FSU — Fling Shoe U | Commentary," 13 Dec. 2020 Not the leg that was nearly amputated in 2018, but the other one, the left one, and the blood soaked his sock, streaming onto the white tape encircling his cleat. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "Steelers’ Defeat Was a Comeback Wrapped in a Comeback for Alex Smith," 8 Dec. 2020 The Vikings’ final chance to tie the score ended with Jefferson’s costly second-down drop and two incomplete passes to Thielen, who lost a yellow cleat on the final play that officials initially mistook for a flag. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings' winning streak ends when Dallas scores late for 31-28 victory," 23 Nov. 2020 Coach Theresa Hirschauer's girls also won last year, but the trifecta was stifled by the final shot off Zschuppe's cleat. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Ohio high school championship soccer: Cincinnati Country Day girls suffer 1st loss in OT," 13 Nov. 2020 Things could’ve gotten worse in the 67th minute, with Santos putting his cleat into the face of Jan Gregus after the two got tangled up, but the referee chose not to put the FCD midfielder in the book, appearing to rule the contact was accidental. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "FC Dallas suffers ‘deflating’ regular season finale loss to Minnesota, loses chance to host playoff game," 8 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Attach the angle cleats at the mark and below the cubbies with 1-5/8-inch screws for support. Lucy Wendel, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Build a Custom Mailbox," 6 Apr. 2020 In 2018, James gifted OSU football players black his signature Nike Soldier XII cleats for the team’s game against Nebraska. Joey Morona, cleveland, "Nike selling LeBron James Ohio State ‘alumni’ jersey because sure, why not?," 24 Dec. 2019 In 2018, James gifted OSU football players his black signature Nike Soldier XII cleats for the team’s game against Nebraska. cleveland, "Nike selling LeBron James Ohio State ‘alumni’ jersey because sure, why not?," 24 Dec. 2019 Lopez is a shoe designer on the side, and Betts, who is sponsored by Jordan Brand, wanted three customized Jordan XIII cleats from him. Julian Mcwilliams,, "Mookie Betts’s cleats have special meaning during Players’ Weekend," 24 Aug. 2019 Vikings safety Anthony Harris, who enrolled at Virginia a year after Love’s death, also has worn One Love Foundation cleats each of the past two seasons. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Vikings’ Stephen Weatherly helping tackle unhealthy relationships," 8 July 2019 The Elks defeated the Red Sox, 11-6, in a game that offered a double whammy to La Cañada, which had a player ejected and suspended for allegedly cleating an Elks player on a play at first base. Andrew J. Campa,, "Robust Glendale Juniors baseball tournament ends with cancelation," 24 May 2018 Abby Cavaiani put her soccer cleats back on this spring for the first time in years. Christopher Kuhagen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kettle Moraine grad Cavaiani continues impressive rise as she qualifies for Junior PGA Championship for second straight year," 6 July 2018 Medics sat in a tent nearby, and bicycles, backpacks and soccer cleats the boys left behind remained at the entrance. Tassanee Vejpongsa, Fox News, "US, UK teams join Thailand's search for 13 missing in cave," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cleat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cleat


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cleat


Middle English clete wedge, from Old English *clēat; akin to Middle High German klōz lump — more at clout

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Time Traveler for cleat

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The first known use of cleat was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Cleat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cleat



English Language Learners Definition of cleat

: a metal or wooden object that is attached to something (such as a boat or dock) and around which a rope can be tied
: a piece of rubber, wood, or metal that is fastened to the bottom of a shoe or boot to prevent slipping
US : shoes that have cleats on them


\ ˈklēt How to pronounce cleat (audio) \

Kids Definition of cleat

1 : a wooden or metal device used to fasten a line or a rope
2 : a strip or projection fastened to the bottom of a shoe to prevent slipping
3 cleats plural : shoes equipped with cleats

More from Merriam-Webster on cleat

Nglish: Translation of cleat for Spanish Speakers

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