- a piece of wood, metal, or plastic, often wedge-shaped, fastened to something to strengthen it or give secure footing: cleats are used on gangways, under shelves, on the soles or heels of shoes, etc.
- Naut. a small metal or wood fitting, specif. one with projecting ends, fixed as to the deck of a ship and used to secure a rope
Origin of cleatMiddle English clete from Old English an unverified form cleat (WGmc an unverified form klaut), a lump from Indo-European an unverified form g(e)l-eu- from base an unverified form gel-: see climb