cleav·​er | \ ˈklē-vər How to pronounce cleaver (audio) \

Definition of cleaver

1 : one that cleaves especially : a butcher's implement for cutting animal carcasses into joints or pieces
2 : a prehistoric stone tool having a sharp edge at one end

Examples of cleaver in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The public service ad from Milwaukee's health department (seen above) features an adorable infant snuggling up to a... meat cleaver. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "Co-Sleeping, Meat Cleavers and Insanity: Which of these doesn't belong?," 17 Nov. 2011 With a meat cleaver or large knife, carefully cut through the entire breastbone, creating two even-size halves. Tyler Florence, House Beautiful, "Tyler Florence's Split-Roasted Turkey Buried in Herbs," 27 Nov. 2013 Although many of the boulders on the peak looked as though they had been split in half by a giant cleaver, a big hunk of Potato Chip Rock is missing, leaving a thin flake hanging above a drop-off. Brian E. Clark,, "Two scenic San Diego hikes, mountaintop and seaside," 24 June 2018 Employee washed cleaver and cutting board without sanitizing. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Restaurant inspections: Chinese restaurant tops list with 12 violations for the week," 30 May 2018 Despite torturing animals with a meat cleaver and a stiletto heel, the court stated that the use of a deadly weapon enhancement could not be applied to animal cruelty cases. John D. Harden, Houston Chronicle, "Sentence for Houston man involved in animal fetish videos reduced," 25 May 2018 Offered as a quarter dark ($7.75), a quarter white ($8.15), half mix ($9.45) or half all white ($9.85), the birds are broken down to order, a swift whack of a cleaver quickly dividing the chickens into the varying portions. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Yummy Pollo's rotisserie chicken is a recipe for Peruvian perfection," 16 May 2018 The picks, cleavers, scrapers, and bifaces were so plentiful that a one-off accidental stranding seems unlikely, Strasser says. Andrew Lawler, Science | AAAS, "Neandertals, Stone Age people may have voyaged the Mediterranean," 24 Apr. 2018 The state’s funding crisis began at least a decade ago when the recession hit, leading lawmakers to take a cleaver to education spending. Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, "‘It just hurts my heart’: Low pay, big classes are the plight of Oklahoma teachers," 30 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of cleaver

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for cleaver

The first known use of cleaver was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for cleaver



English Language Learners Definition of cleaver

: a heavy knife with a wide blade used for cutting up large pieces of meat


cleav·​er | \ ˈklē-vər How to pronounce cleaver (audio) \

Kids Definition of cleaver

: a heavy knife used for cutting up meat

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More from Merriam-Webster on cleaver

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cleaver

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleaver

Spanish Central: Translation of cleaver

Nglish: Translation of cleaver for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cleaver

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