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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Synonyms for cleft

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Welcome to Crawford Notch, a deep, steep-sided cleft in the White Mountain range in northern New Hampshire. BostonGlobe.com, "It’s all about nature at these four family-friendly New England resorts," 25 Mar. 2021 In Cappadocia, a region in south-central Turkey, a river carved a deep cleft in the mountains and left behind a network of caves in the soft stone. The Christian Science Monitor, "In Pictures: Meet the Muslim caretakers of Turkey’s Christian cave churches," 18 Mar. 2021 More rugged routes wind through the deep cleft of upper San Pasqual Valley cut by Santa Ysabel Creek. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Habitat restoration helps connect man, nature," 28 Nov. 2020 Perhaps then this cleft would open wide and swallow me, too. Hugh Raffles, The New York Review of Books, "The Stones of Lewis, Portals in Time," 9 Oct. 2020 From the front, approached from the circle, the cleft is a dark opening, a hole that, as Richards says, appears to be an entrance into the rock itself. Hugh Raffles, The New York Review of Books, "The Stones of Lewis, Portals in Time," 9 Oct. 2020 That didn’t stop Benjamin’s faith from becoming a cleft between him and his fellow Christian senators. Andrea Cooper, Smithsonian Magazine, "Charlotte’s Monument to a Jewish Confederate Was Hated Even Before It Was Built," 23 Sep. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective So are cleft lips, sometimes accompanied by cleft palate. New York Times, "A Secret War. Decades of Suffering. Will the U.S. Ever Make Good in Laos?," 16 Mar. 2021 According to the organization, more than 37,000 cleft surgeries have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ralphie Aversa, USA TODAY, "Ciara talks giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic: 'It was a whole different hospital'," 1 Oct. 2020 Operation Smile connects children and young adults with cleft conditions worldwide with access to safe surgical care to improve their lives and smiles. Nicole Cormier, Dallas News, "New Lay’s snack bags feature inspiring D-FW community members in support of Operation Smile," 23 Sep. 2020 Other Chinese are more willing to adopt children with treatable conditions like cleft palates. The Economist, "Chaguan For people in China, adopting Chinese children is getting easier," 6 June 2020

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

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cleft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cleft. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cleft

cleft

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cleft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cleft

Nglish: Translation of cleft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cleft for Arabic Speakers

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