cleavage

play
noun cleav·age \ˈklē-vij\

Definition of cleavage

  1. 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. 2 :  the action of cleaving :  the state of being cleft

  3. 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. 4 :  the splitting of a molecule into simpler molecules

  5. 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

1816

First Known Use of cleavage

1816


CLEAVAGE Defined for English Language Learners

cleavage

play
noun cleav·age \ˈklē-vij\

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

play
noun cleav·age \ˈklē-vij\

Definition of cleavage for Students

  1. 1 :  the tendency of a rock or mineral to split readily in one or more directions

  2. 2 :  the action of splitting

  3. 3 :  the state of being split


Medical Dictionary

cleavage

play
noun cleav·age \ˈklē-vij\

Medical Definition of cleavage

  1. 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. 2:  the splitting of a molecule into simpler molecules



Seen and Heard

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

skillful, artistic, or intricate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog-cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ