- a fine silk thread separated from a large thread
- untwisted silk that tends to mat or tangle; floss
- Rare any tangle, as of ravelings
Origin of sleavefrom Old English -slæfan, to separate; akin to slifan: see sliver
transitive verbsleaved, sleav′ing
Origin of sleaveFrom Middle English sleven to disentangle from Old English slǣfan to cut from slāf past tense of slīfan to split
(third-person singular simple present sleaves, present participle sleaving, simple past and past participle sleaved)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.