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cleave2

[kleev] /kliv/
verb (used with object), cleft or cleaved or clove, cleft or cleaved or cloven, cleaving.
1.
to split or divide by or as if by a cutting blow, especially along a natural line of division, as the grain of wood.
2.
to make by or as if by cutting:
to cleave a path through the wilderness.
3.
to penetrate or pass through (air, water, etc.):
The bow of the boat cleaved the water cleanly.
4.
to cut off; sever:
to cleave a branch from a tree.
verb (used without object), cleft or cleaved or clove, cleft or cleaved or cloven, cleaving.
5.
to part or split, especially along a natural line of division.
6.
to penetrate or advance by or as if by cutting (usually followed by through).
Origin
950
before 950; Middle English cleven, Old English clēofan, cognate with Old High German klioban (German klieben), Old Norse kljūfa; akin to Greek glýphein to carve, Latin glūbere to peel
Synonyms
1. halve, rend, rive.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cleave through

cleave1

/kliːv/
verb cleaves, cleaving, cleft, cleaved, clove, cleft, cleaved, cloven
1.
to split or cause to split, esp along a natural weakness
2.
(transitive) to make by or as if by cutting: to cleave a path
3.
when intr, foll by through. to penetrate or traverse
Derived Forms
cleavable, adjective
cleavability, noun
Word Origin
Old English clēofan; related to Old Norse kljūfa, Old High German klioban, Latin glūbere to peel

cleave2

/kliːv/
verb
1.
(intransitive) foll by to. to cling or adhere
Word Origin
Old English cleofian; related to Old High German klebēn to stick
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cleave through

cleave

v.

"to split," Old English cleofan, cleven, cliven "to split, separate" (class II strong verb, past tense cleaf, past participle clofen), from Proto-Germanic *kleubanan (cf. Old Saxon klioban, Old Norse kljufa, Danish klöve, Dutch kloven, Old High German klioban, German klieben "to cleave, split"), from PIE root *gleubh- "to cut, slice" (see glyph).

Past tense form clave is recorded in Northern writers from 14c. and was used with both verbs (see cleave (v.2)), apparently by analogy with other Middle English strong verbs. Clave was common to c.1600 and still alive at the time of the KJV; weak past tense cleaved for this verb also emerged in 14c.; cleft is still later. The past participle cloven survives, though mostly in compounds.

"to adhere," Middle English cleven, clevien, cliven, from Old English clifian, cleofian, from West Germanic *klibajanan (cf. Old Saxon klibon, Old High German kliban, Dutch kleven, Old High German kleben, German kleben "to stick, cling, adhere"), from PIE *gloi- "to stick" (see clay). The confusion was less in Old English when cleave (v.1) was a class 2 strong verb; but it has grown since cleave (v.1) weakened, which may be why both are largely superseded by stick (v.) and split (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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