- The definition of a cleft is a space between two parts, an opening made by a split or a crack.
An example of a cleft is the crack along a fault line.
- an opening made by or as by cleaving; crack; crevice
- a hollow between two parts
Origin of cleftMiddle English clift ; from Old English an unverified form clyft ; from cleofan: see cleave
- to insert (a scion) into the stock of a plant
- split; divided
- Bot. divided by one or more narrow spaces extending more than halfway to the midrib: said of leaves, as an oak leaf
- Divided; split.
- Botany Having indentations that extend about halfway to the center, as in certain leaves.
- A crack, crevice, or split.
- A split or indentation between two parts, as of the chin.
Origin of cleftMiddle English, past participle of cleven, to split; see cleave1. N., from Middle English, alteration (influenced by cleft) of clift, from Old English geclyft; see gleubh- in Indo-European roots.
- simple past tense and past participle of cleave
Variant of cleave
transitive verbcleaved or cleft or clove, cleaved or cleft or cloven, cleaving
- to divide by a blow, as with an ax; split
- to pierce
- to sever; disunite
Origin of cleaveMiddle English cleven ; from Old English cleofan; akin to German klieben ; from Indo-European base an unverified form gleubh-, to cut, slice from source Classical Greek glyphein, carve, Classical Latin glubere, to peel
- to split; separate; fall apart
- to make one's way by or as by cutting