any of various plants (genus Galium) of the madder family, esp. a weedy species (G. aparine), with stalkless leaves arranged in whorls, clusters of small, white or yellow flowers, and square stems
Origin of cleavers; from cleave
plural noun(used with a sing. or pl. verb)
- An annual, climbing bedstraw (Galium aparine) found throughout North America and Eurasia, having hooked bristles on the stems, leaves, and fruit that cling to fur or clothing.
- Any of various other species in the genus Galium.
Origin of cleaversMiddle English clivers, probably blend of clife, burdock (from Old English cl&imacron;fe) and clivres, claws (from Old English clifras, pl. of clifer).