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cleft lip

a congenitally deformed lip, usually the upper one, in which there is a vertical fissure that extends into one or both nostrils.
the deformity itself.
See also cleft lip.
Usage note
See harelip. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cleft lip
  • cleft lip and cleft palate are caused by a genetic defect during the fourth to eighth week of pregnancy.
British Dictionary definitions for cleft lip

cleft lip

a congenital split in the upper lip, often associated with a cleft palate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cleft lip in Medicine

cleft lip n.
A congenital facial deformity of the lip, usually the upper lip, due to a mesodermal deficiency or to a failure of merging in one or more of the embryologic processes that form the lip; it is frequently associated with cleft tooth socket and cleft palate. Also called cheiloschisis, harelip.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cleft lip in Science
cleft lip
A congenital deformity characterized by a vertical cleft or pair of clefts in the upper lip, with or without involvement of the palate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cleft lip in Culture

cleft lip definition

A congenital defect in which the upper lip is not properly fused together, so that a narrow crack or fissure splits the lip. It can be repaired through plastic surgery.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for cleft lip


relatively common (one out of every 1,000 births) congenital deformity in which the central to medial lip fails to fuse properly during the first month of prenatal life, resulting in a fissure in the lip beneath the nostril. Once colloquially known as harelip, cleft lip may be unilateral or bilateral, it may take the form of anything from a small pit to a complete fissure the height of the lip, and it may occur alone or in conjunction with cleft palate (a fissure in the roof of the mouth). The deformity is sometimes familial; animal experiments suggest it may also occur following some abnormality of intrauterine environment. It is a frequent finding in certain chromosomal disorders. Surgery to repair the defect is performed in the first two months of life and is usually successful.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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