: 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
: to separate into distinct parts and especially into groups having divergent views
The political party was cleaved by internal bickering.
: to split especially along the grain
The ax easily cleaved through the log.
: to penetrate or pass through something by or as if by cutting
The ship's bow cleaved through the water.
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Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged