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 One of the most memorable finds, which Grochowski thinks fell into the box by accident, was a meat cleaver. Erik S. Hanley, Journal Sentinel, 20 June 2022 Cut the breasts into finger-thick slices with a cleaver or chef’s knife. Tse Wei Lim,, 7 June 2022 All that tends to make for a sluggish and imprecise ski, one that spreads like a butter knife, not one that cuts like a cleaver. Dan Schwartz, Outside Online, 5 Mar. 2021 At the couple's home, authorities reportedly found cleaning tools near the victim's body, blood smeared on the walls, as well as knives and a meat cleaver in the sink. Vanessa Etienne,, 21 Feb. 2022 The Medical Examiner's Office found that Weller was stabbed more than 140 times all over his body and was struck in the head with the meat cleaver, the police report said. Hannah Morse, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 An autopsy later revealed that Weller was stabbed over 140 times, and also sustained a skull fracture following a blow to the head with a meat cleaver. Vanessa Etienne,, 21 Feb. 2022 An autopsy revealed the victim suffered more than 140 stab wounds and a skull fracture caused by a blow to the head with a meat cleaver, the report said. Tina Burnside And Taliah Miller, CNN, 20 Feb. 2022 That said, Miss Manners agrees that sneaking up on a customer with a meat cleaver is bound to cause misunderstandings. Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cleaver

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cleaver.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for cleaver


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

Kids Definition of cleaver

: a heavy knife used for cutting up meat

More from Merriam-Webster on cleaver

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleaver

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


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