"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[sleev] /sliv/
the part of a garment that covers the arm, varying in form and length but commonly tubular.
an envelope, usually of paper, for protecting a phonograph record.
Machinery. a tubular piece, as of metal, fitting over a rod or the like.
verb (used with object), sleeved, sleeving.
to furnish with sleeves.
Machinery. to fit with a sleeve; join or fasten by means of a sleeve.
have something up one's sleeve, to have a secret plan, scheme, opinion, or the like:
I could tell by her sly look that she had something up her sleeve.
laugh up / in one's sleeve, to be secretly amused or contemptuous; laugh inwardly:
to laugh up one's sleeve at someone's affectations.
Origin of sleeve
before 950; Middle English sleve, Old English slēfe (Anglian), slīefe; akin to Dutch sloof apron
Related forms
sleevelike, adjective
unsleeved, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sleeve
  • And he reached within his mantle sleeve and brought forth sands.
  • Vent to your heart's content to control moisture, but keep the pizza in an insulated sleeve, so that the heat stays in.
  • She shut her eyes, reached out her hand, and touched a sleeve.
  • The sleeve of his coat was almost worn through from the habit.
  • The six shirts were ready, only the left sleeve of the sixth was wanting.
  • They do not wear their heart in their sleeve for daws to peck at.
  • There she was, undoing her hair to wash it, with her arms out through the sleeve-holes of her smock.
  • He was holding it inside his coat, and it contrived to wiggle partly down the sleeve.
  • She is not a refugee from the world of theatre, and she has no unpublished string quartet about wombats up her sleeve.
  • He has his heart-on-sleeve moments, but more often he speaks in shy, gentlemanly phrases.
British Dictionary definitions for sleeve


the part of a garment covering the arm
a tubular piece that is forced or shrunk into a cylindrical bore to reduce the diameter of the bore or to line it with a different material; liner
a tube fitted externally over two cylindrical parts in order to join them; bush
a flat cardboard or plastic container to protect a gramophone record US name jacket
roll up one's sleeves, to prepare oneself for work, a fight, etc
up one's sleeve, secretly ready
(transitive) to provide with a sleeve or sleeves
Derived Forms
sleeveless, adjective
sleevelike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English slīf, slēf; related to Dutch sloof apron
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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Word Origin and History for sleeve

Old English sliefe (West Saxon), slefe (Mercian) "arm-covering part of a garment," probably literally "that into which the arm slips," from Proto-Germanic *slaubjon (cf. Middle Low German sloven "to dress carelessly," Old High German sloufen "to put on or off"). Related to Old English slefan, sliefan "to slip on (clothes)" and slupan "to slip, glide," from PIE root *sleubh- "to slide, slip."

Cf. slipper, Old English slefescoh "slipper," slip (n.) "woman's garment," and expression to slip into "to dress in"). Mechanical sense is attested from 1864. To have something up one's sleeve is recorded from c.1500 (large sleeves formerly doubled as pockets). Meaning "the English Channel" translates French La Manche.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sleeve



Advancement without much effort; an easy task or accomplishment: Getting the contract was a sleepwalk

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with sleeve
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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