Cleave (klēv), v. i. [imp. Cleaved (klēvd), Clave (klāv, Obs.); p. p. Cleaved; p. pr. & vb. n. Cleaving.] [OE. cleovien, clivien, cliven, AS. cleofian, clifian; akin to OS. klibōn, G. kleben, LG. kliven, D. kleven, Dan. klæbe, Sw. klibba, and also to G. kleiben to cleve, paste, Icel. klīfa to climb. Cf. Climb.] 1. To adhere closely; to stick; to hold fast; to cling.

My bones cleave to my skin.
Ps. cii. 5.

The diseases of Egypt . . . shall cleave unto thee.
Deut. xxviii. 60.

Sophistry cleaves close to and protects
Sin's rotten trunk, concealing its defects.

2. To unite or be united closely in interest or affection; to adhere with strong attachment.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.
Gen. ii. 24.

Cleave unto the Lord your God.
Josh. xxiii. 8.

3. To fit; to be adapted; to assimilate. [Poetic.]

New honors come upon him,
Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold
But with the aid of use.

Cleave, v. i. To part; to open; to crack; to separate; as parts of bodies; as, the ground cleaves by frost.

The Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst.
Zech. xiv. 4.

Cleave (klēv), v. t. [imp. Cleft (klĕft), Clave (klāv, Obs.), Clove (klōv, Obsolescent); p. p. Cleft, Cleaved (klēvd) or Cloven (klō"v'n); p. pr. & vb. n. Cleaving.] [OE. cleoven, cleven, AS. cleófan; akin to OS. klioban, D. klooven, G. klieben, Icel. kljūfa, Sw. klyfva, Dan. klöve and prob. to Gr. gly`fein to carve, L. glubere to peel. Cf. Cleft.] 1. To part or divide by force; to split or rive; to cut.

O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

2. To part or open naturally; to divide.

Every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws.
Deut. xiv. 6.