\ˈslēv \

Definition of sleeve 

1a : a part of a garment covering an arm

b : sleevelet

2a : a tubular part (such as a hollow axle or a bushing) designed to fit over another part

b : an open-ended flat or tubular packaging or cover especially : jacket sense 3c(2)

on one's sleeve

: in an honest and open manner used with wear wears his emotions on his sleeve

up one's sleeve

: held secretly in reserve has a few tricks up her sleeve

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Other Words from sleeve

sleeved \ˈslēvd \ adjective
sleeveless \ˈslēv-​ləs \ adjective

Examples of sleeve in a Sentence

a shirt with long sleeves The joint is covered with a metal sleeve.

Recent Examples on the Web

Read on to find out what the brands have up their sleeves. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "All the Best New Hair-Care Products Launching in October," 3 Oct. 2018 However, even this seemingly simple service still has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. Jon Porter, The Verge, "How to find and play’s secret adventure game," 1 Oct. 2018 After debuting a new logo (sans the é accent) and his first Celine bag on the arm of Lady Gaga, many wondered what the creative director had up his sleeve for the brand previously helmed by Phoebe Philo. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hedi Slimane’s Celine Is Here and It Looks Completely Different," 28 Sep. 2018 Lawmakers who are once again pushing for a ban on gun shows at the Cow Palace may have an ace up their sleeves — the aging exhibition hall’s roof. Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, "End to gun shows at Cow Palace could involve “conversations” about its roof," 23 May 2018 Through the roof: Lawmakers who are once again pushing for a ban on gun shows at the Cow Palace may have an ace up their sleeves — the aging exhibition hall’s roof. Matier & Ross,, "Newsom strategy: Face Republican in the fall by knocking Dems out in June," 23 May 2018 So the biggest question is what Santorum & Co. have up their sleeves that would change the equation in the Senate without losing too many House votes. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Conservatives Plan to Take One Last Shot at Obamacare Repeal Before Midterms," 30 Apr. 2018 The long-sleeve collared style hits right above the ankles for a flattering length and polka dots are a classic, year-round print. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Pippa Middleton Wore Whistles' Polka Dot Dress one Week After Kate Middleton Did," 26 Oct. 2018 Think: long pants, long sleeves, and items made out of leather or natural fibers like cotton and wool instead of more flammable synthetics. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Tips on How to Survive a Plane Crash (Although They're Really Rare)," 13 Oct. 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sleeve

Middle English sleve, from Old English slīefe; perhaps akin to Old English slēfan to slip (clothes) on, slūpan to slip, Old High German sliofan, Latin lubricus slippery

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Statistics for sleeve

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sleeve

The first known use of sleeve was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sleeve



English Language Learners Definition of sleeve

: the part of a shirt, jacket, etc., that covers all or part of your arm

: a part that fits over or around something to protect it or to hold its parts together


\ˈslēv \

Kids Definition of sleeve

1 : the part of a piece of clothing covering the arm

2 : a part that fits over or around something like a sleeve

up someone's sleeve

: held secretly in reserve Watch him. He's got something up his sleeve.

Other Words from sleeve

sleeved \ˈslēvd \ adjective
sleeveless \ˈslēv-​ləs \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on sleeve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sleeve

Spanish Central: Translation of sleeve

Nglish: Translation of sleeve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sleeve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sleeve

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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