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sleave

[sleev] /sliv/
verb (used with object), sleaved, sleaving.
1.
to divide or separate into filaments, as silk.
noun
2.
anything matted or raveled.
3.
a filament of silk obtained by separating a thicker thread.
4.
a silk in the form of such filaments.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; Old English -slǣfan (only in the compound tōslǣfan), akin to slīfan to split; see sliver
Related forms
unsleaved, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un sleaved

sleave

/sliːv/
noun
1.
a tangled thread
2.
a thin filament unravelled from a thicker thread
3.
(mainly poetic) anything matted or complicated
verb
4.
to disentangle (twisted thread, etc)
Word Origin
Old English slǣfan to divide; related to Middle Low German slēf, Norwegian sleiv big spoon
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 un sleaved

sleave

v.

"to separate or divide" (threads, strands, fibers), Old English -slæfan, from stem of -slifan "to separate, split, cleave," from Proto-Germanic *slifanan, perhaps related to the root of slip (v.). Cf. German Schleife "a loop, knot, noose." Related: Sleaved; sleaving. As a noun, "knotted, tangled silk or thread," 1590s, from the verb; this is the word in Shakespeare's rauel'd Sleeue of Care ("Macbeth").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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