cleft

noun
\ˈkleft \

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

check, chink, crack, cranny, crevice, fissure, rift, split

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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

The site plan, by landscape architect Kristen Reimann, includes natural-cleft bluestone patios and a saltwater pool. Marni Elyse Katz, BostonGlobe.com, "After renting for years on Martha’s Vineyard, building a getaway all their own," 15 June 2018 Mally said his life changed shortly after moving to the Philippines and helping children with cleft pallet problems. Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "Retired cop on a mission killed in tricycle accident in the Philippines | Miami Herald," 17 May 2018 Straight into the cleft tucks an emerald fish, its head entirely enveloped. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "Naked body parts, hair as sculpture: The strange, sinister, seductive art of Julie Curtiss," 5 June 2018 Six feet two, with broad shoulders and a cleft chin, Zinke is a fifth-generation Montanan who was recruited as a linebacker at the University of Oregon and spent twenty-three years in the Navy SEALs. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "Trump vs. the “Deep State”," 14 May 2018 Out of the darkened cleft of the fjord, three outriggers soon emerge, propelled by local Korafe women in skirts of tapa bark cloth painted with ocher, their necks hung with flowers and shells, and faces tattooed in black. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "Navigating Tradition and Tourism in Papua New Guinea," 3 May 2018 His bed was overlaid with cardboard and tucked into a cleft of piers and brush. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: More memos are coming. Here are six questions about ‘Phase Two’ of the Nunes investigation.," 5 Feb. 2018 Hutchinson playfully adds a watery horizon in a cleft between high ridges, making his world turn. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Taking two approaches to collage," 11 Apr. 2018 His bed was overlaid with cardboard and tucked into a cleft of piers and brush. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: More memos are coming. Here are six questions about ‘Phase Two’ of the Nunes investigation.," 5 Feb. 2018

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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Learn More about cleft

Dictionary Entries near cleft

cleek

cleeve

clef

cleft

clefted

cleft-footed

cleft graft

Statistics for cleft

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cleft

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

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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 \

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 \

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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Comments on cleft

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