Definition of cleave
(Entry 1 of 2)
: to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly They kept themselves strictly separate, each cleaving to their own language, rituals, and food. — Gourmet Notice was served on the Democratic party that it must cleave to the Jackson line if it wanted the labor vote.— Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. The film's script has the same lack of pretension, cleaving to the teen movie formula with its high school cliques, clowns and bullies …— Sandra Hall
Definition of cleave (Entry 2 of 2)
1 : to divide by or as if by a cutting blow : split The blow cleaved the victim's skull.
2 : to separate into distinct parts and especially into groups having divergent views The political party was cleaved by internal bickering.
3 : to subject to chemical cleavage a protein cleaved by an enzyme
1 : to split especially along the grain The ax easily cleaved through the log.
2 : to penetrate or pass through something by or as if by cutting The ship's bow cleaved through the water.
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