cleaver

[klee-ver]
noun
1.
a heavy, broad-bladed knife or long-bladed hatchet, especially one used by butchers for cutting meat into joints or pieces.
2.
a person or thing that cleaves.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English clevere. See cleave2, -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cleaver (ˈkliːvə)
 
n
a heavy knife or long-bladed hatchet, esp one used by butchers

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cleaver
late 15c., "one who splits," from cleave (1). Meaning "butcher's chopper" is from 1580.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cleaver   (klē'vər)  Pronunciation Key 
A bifacial stone tool flaked to produce a straight, sharp, relatively wide edge at one end. Cleavers are early core tools associated primarily with the Acheulian tool culture.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

cleaver

heavy, axlike knife used since the Middle Pleistocene era to cut through animal bone and meat; in modern times the cleaver, generally made of iron or carbon steel, remains a requisite tool of the butcher and a common kitchen implement. The versatility of the cleaver is probably best exemplified by its prominent role in Chinese-style cooking, in which it figures in every step of preparation from chopping firewood to butchering meat to slicing delicate vegetables and even whittling chopsticks. Its flat side is used like a mallet to pound and tenderize meat.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Trim off fat and skin from three pounds of beef cut from centre of fillet and flatten with a broad-bladed cleaver.
We see the cleaver come down and the hand and the head come off.
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