cleavage

noun
cleav·​age | \ ˈklē-vij How to pronounce cleavage (audio) \

Definition of cleavage

1a : the quality of a crystallized substance or rock of splitting along definite planes also : the occurrence of such splitting
b : a fragment (as of a diamond) obtained by splitting
2 : the action of cleaving or splitting : the state of being cleft
3 : the series of synchronized mitotic cell divisions of a fertilized egg that results in the formation of the blastomeres and changes the single-celled zygote into a multicellular embryo also : one of these cell divisions
4 : the splitting of a molecule into simpler molecules
5 : the depression between a woman's breasts especially when made visible by a low-cut neckline

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of cleavage in a Sentence

The dress is cut low enough to reveal a lot of cleavage. the cleavage between the rich and poor the cleavages of an egg as an embryo develops
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Though her cleavage is poppin', all anyone is talking about in the comments of the pic is the weird thing going on with Khloé's hands. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Every Time the Kardashian/Jenners Were Caught in a Photoshop Fail," 30 Oct. 2020 Now, her tiny new tat is pretty easy to miss, due to the light-bright strands and GLOWING cleavage exhibited in this photo. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner Reveals Bleach Blonde Hair and a Arm New Tattoo in *Smokin' Hot* New Photos," 24 June 2020 Regarding the cleavage between fact and value, matters are no less complicated. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Max Weber’s Agon," 11 June 2020 After prison officials measured the hem length, and then the height of her heels, she was then told the dress showed too much cleavage. Jenny Block, New York Times, "Grateful for a Wedding in Prison," 22 Oct. 2020 The accompanying photo featured DiCarlo apparently topless in her bed, a hint of cleavage visible above her sheets, with her fingertips resting coyly against her forehead. Lux Alptraum, Wired, "One Woman’s High-Touch Bid to Upend the Sex-Toy Industry," 16 Oct. 2020 Political analysts attributed the Kyrgyzstan crisis partly to the longstanding political, economic and ethnic cleavage between the country’s agrarian south and more developed north. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Kyrgyzstan in Chaos After Protesters Seize Government Buildings," 6 Oct. 2020 As a 17-year-old on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean, Keira Knightley would get her boobs contoured every morning, in order to give her the kind of cleavage expected from the romantic lead of an adventure movie. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Keira Knightley’s New Movie Tackles The Objectification Of Women — She Knows All About That," 24 Sep. 2020 The assassination and subsequent uprising triggered a new political cleavage in Lebanon — between a pro-Western camp and a pro-Syrian and Iranian camp — that persists to this day. Washington Post, "Lebanon tribunal implicates Hezbollah in 2005 killing of Rafiq al-Hariri," 18 Aug. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of cleavage

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cleavage

Time Traveler for cleavage

Time Traveler

The first known use of cleavage was in 1816

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cleavage

Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cleavage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cleavage. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cleavage

cleavage

noun
How to pronounce cleavage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cleavage

informal : the space between a woman's breasts especially when it can be easily seen
: a division between two things or groups
technical : the act of splitting apart

cleavage

noun
cleav·​age | \ ˈklē-vij How to pronounce cleavage (audio) \

Kids Definition of cleavage

1 : the tendency of a rock or mineral to split readily in one or more directions
2 : the action of splitting
3 : the state of being split

cleavage

noun
cleav·​age | \ ˈklē-vij How to pronounce cleavage (audio) \

Medical Definition of cleavage

1 : the series of synchronized mitotic cell divisions of the fertilized egg that results in the formation of the blastomeres and changes the single-celled zygote into a multicellular embryo also : one of these cell divisions
2 : the splitting of a molecule into simpler molecules

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cleavage

What made you want to look up cleavage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!