I. noun Etymology: Middle English clift, from Old English geclyft; akin to Old English clēofan to cleave Date: 14th century 1. a space or opening made by or as if by splitting ; fissure 2. a usually V-shaped indented formation ; a hollow between ridges or protuberances <
the anal cleft of the human body
II. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from past participle of cleven Date: 14th century partially split or divided; specifically divided about halfway to the midrib <
a cleft leaf

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cleft — Cleft, n. [OE. clift; cf. Sw. klyft cave, den, Icel. kluft cleft, Dan. kl[ o]ft, G. kluft. See {Cleave} to split and cf. 2d {Clift}, 1st {Clough}.] 1. A space or opening made by splitting; a crack; a crevice; as, the cleft of a rock. Is. ii. 21.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cleft — Cleft, a. 1. Divided; split; partly divided or split. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) Incised nearly to the midrib; as, a cleft leaf. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cleft — (n.) 1570s, altered (by influence of cleft, new weak pp. of CLEAVE (Cf. cleave) (1)), from M.E. clift (early 14c.), from O.E. geclyft (adj.) split, cloven, from P.Gmc. *kluftis (Cf. O.H.G., Ger. kluft, Dan. klèft cleft ), from PIE *gleubh (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cleft — cleft·ed; cleft; un·cleft; …   English syllables

  • cleft — past participle of CLEAVE(Cf. ↑cleave). ► ADJECTIVE ▪ split, divided, or partially divided into two. ► NOUN 1) a fissure or split in rock or the ground. 2) an indentation in a person s forehead or chin, or a hollow between two parts of the body.… …   English terms dictionary

  • Cleft — (kl[e^]ft), imp. & p. p. from {Cleave}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cleft — [adj] separated, split broken, cloven, cracked, crannied, crenelated, parted, perforated, pierced, rent, riven, ruptured, separated, sundered, torn; concept 490 Ant. joined, joint, united cleft [n] break, gap aperture, arroyo, breach, canyon,… …   New thesaurus

  • cleft — index rift (gap), split Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • cleft — cleft, clefţi, s.m. (înv.) muntean grec liber; haiduc. Trimis de blaurb, 14.04.2006. Sursa: DAR …   Dicționar Român

  • cleft — n *crack, fissure, crevasse, crevice, cranny, chink Analogous words: split, rift, *breach: gap, *break, interruption …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cleft — see cleave …   Modern English usage

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”