A fine thread or skein of thread.
(rare) Any tangle, as of ravelings.
(obs.) To separate or pull apart (twisted or tangled threads)
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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
Origin of sleave
- From Middle English sleven to disentangle from Old English slǣfan to cut from slāf past tense of slīfan to split
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition