cleav·​ers | \ ˈklē-vərz How to pronounce cleavers (audio) \

Definition of cleavers

: an annual bedstraw (Galium aparine) having many stalked white flowers and stems covered with curved prickles also : any of several related plants

Examples of cleavers in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And sharpening knives and cleavers for the local butcher. John Anderson, WSJ, 4 Nov. 2021 In the office, two cleavers are stuck forebodingly into the wall, an installation by Barry Le Va, the influential sculptor who died this year. New York Times, 14 June 2021 Others were more obvious, instantaneous and even violent, like one consisting of multiple meat cleavers thrown and lodged in a patch of wall or floor. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cleavers.' 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 cleavers

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cleavers

Middle English clivre, alteration of Old English clife burdock, cleavers; akin to Old English clifian

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The first known use of cleavers was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Cleavers.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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