cleavage

noun cleav·age \ ˈklē-vij \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of cleavage

1 a :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

Examples of cleavage in a Sentence

  1. The dress is cut low enough to reveal a lot of cleavage.

  2. the cleavage between the rich and poor

  3. the cleavages of an egg as an embryo develops

Recent Examples of cleavage from the Web

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.

First Known Use of cleavage

1816


CLEAVAGE Defined for English Language Learners

cleavage

noun

Definition of cleavage for English Language Learners

  • : the space between a woman's breasts especially when it can be easily seen

  • : a division between two things or groups

  • : the act of splitting apart


CLEAVAGE Defined for Kids

cleavage

noun cleav·age \ ˈklē-vij \

Definition of cleavage for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

cleavage

noun cleav·age \ ˈklē-vij \

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


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