cleft

noun
\ ˈkleft How to pronounce cleft (audio) \

Definition of cleft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a space or opening made by or as if by splitting : fissure
2 : a usually V-shaped indented formation : a hollow between ridges or protuberances the anal cleft of the human body

cleft

adjective

Definition of cleft (Entry 2 of 2)

: partially split or divided specifically : divided about halfway to the midrib a cleft leaf

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Examples of cleft in a Sentence

Noun The river begins as a trickle of water from a cleft in the rock. He has a distinctive cleft in his chin.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Smell receptors are located in two narrow passageways called the olfactory clefts, according to a study published in the journal Chemical Senses. USA Today, "How does the coronavirus cause COVID toes or loss of smell? Here's how the immune system reacts.," 18 May 2020 Our elders have spent decades placing their children in the cleft of the rock, in the hands of the Almighty, seeking his protection and guidance. Stacy Dollar, ExpressNews.com, "Commentary: National Day of Prayer is a time for us all to unite in person or via livestream," 3 May 2020 This synaptic cleft is a narrow gap that is not easily accessible to an antibody. Kenneth S. Kosik, Scientific American, "Five Types of Research, Underexplored until Recently, Could Produce Alzheimer’s Treatments," 20 Apr. 2020 And there was Waipi‘o Valley: a deep cleft of wild green split with a river silver-brown and glassy, then a wide black sand beach slipping into the frothing Pacific. New York Times, "‘Sharks in the Time of Saviors,’ by Kawai Strong Washburn: An Excerpt," 31 Mar. 2020 Even by the standards of the time, though, when masculine icons from Batman to Clark Gable boasted clefts, Douglas was an extreme. Jeva Lange, TheWeek, "Kirk Douglas was the best thing to ever happen to chins," 6 Feb. 2020 Social media is replete with negative comments about noisy groups, irresponsible hikers, food scraps, dog poo and painted rocks meant as inspirational gifts left in trees and clefts. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This is one of Phoenix's best loved hikes. Here's why," 8 Jan. 2020 Williams pulled her top lip up over her teeth to demonstrate the look of a cleft. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Wendy Williams apologizes for Joaquin Phoenix 'cleft lip' comments," 16 Jan. 2020 Locals had eyed the spot for years before a group summoned up the courage in 2006, scrambled down a narrow cleft in the rocks, and paddled out. New York Times, "Chasing Waves on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way," 12 Aug. 2019

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cleft

Noun

Middle English clift, from Old English geclyft; akin to Old English clēofan to cleave

Adjective

Middle English, from past participle of cleven

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Time Traveler for cleft

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cleft

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cleft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cleft. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for cleft

cleft

noun
How to pronounce cleft (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cleft

: a narrow space in the surface of something
: a narrow area that looks like a small dent in someone's chin

cleft

noun
\ ˈkleft How to pronounce cleft (audio) \

Kids Definition of cleft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a space or opening made by splitting or cracking : crevice

cleft

adjective

Kids Definition of cleft (Entry 2 of 2)

: partly split or divided

cleft

noun
\ ˈkleft How to pronounce cleft (audio) \

Medical Definition of cleft

1 : a usually abnormal fissure or opening especially when resulting from failure of parts to fuse during embryonic development
2 : a usually V-shaped indented formation : a hollow between ridges or protuberances the anal cleft of the human body
3 : the hollow space between the two branches of the frog or the frog and bars or between the bulbs of the heel of a horse's hoof
4 : a crack on the bend of the pastern of a horse
5 : a division of the cleft foot of an animal

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More from Merriam-Webster on cleft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cleft

Spanish Central: Translation of cleft

Nglish: Translation of cleft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cleft for Arabic Speakers

Comments on cleft

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