Main definitions of cleft in English

: cleft1cleft2

cleft1

verb

adjective

  • Split, divided, or partially divided into two.

    ‘a cleft chin’
    • ‘The septal deviation may be so severe that it partially or completely obstructs the nasal passage on the cleft side.’
    • ‘Painted five years earlier, the nine children of Friedrich Wilhelm Paul Leopold of Schleswig-Holstein each shared the dark eyes and cleft chin of their father.’
    • ‘Preoperative diagnosis of ectopic thymic tissue is rare; most cases are clinically misinterpreted as branchial cleft remnants or cystic hygromas.’
    • ‘Feelings of fear, guilt, resentment, inadequacy, shame, and grief are common among parents and family members of babies born with cleft deformities.’
    • ‘A second patient brought mobile phone images of his partner's episodic natal cleft rash, which had defied GP and dermatological diagnosis for 3 years.’
    • ‘She had his sharp nose and round face with the cleft chin.’
    • ‘Mostly, he saw Bert's fists moving rhythmically, seeming inexorably drawn to Marlon's cleft chin like magnets drawn to metal.’
    • ‘Latham advocates lateral maxillary advancement on the cleft side using presurgical orthopedic treatment prior to lip repair.’
    • ‘These children also often have special facial features, cardiac defects and cleft anomalies that often make their speech hypernasal.’
    • ‘And born with severely bowed legs and cleft feet, he walked with metal braces.’
    • ‘He prefers the Teifi coracle because he likes working with cleft wild woods such as willow, hazel and ash rather than pre-sawn materials.’
    • ‘Toe and cleft ulceration developed de novo in patients treated with four layer compression bandaging for venous ulceration.’
    • ‘One previous project was the Smile Campaign, which gave reconstructive surgery to children with cleft palettes and those with burns.’
    • ‘It can help to discuss the problems with people who have had similar experiences or by having access to psychological support available from specialist cleft teams.’
    • ‘The accessible cleft volume is reduced by an additional third to 0.051% due to the occupation of this space by protein.’
    • ‘He said that hair lip and cleft palette ran in his family.’
    • ‘The British Museum is in a bit of a cleft stick over Africa.’
    • ‘A member of the craniofacial team introduces the new parents to the parent-to-parent network available to parents of infants with cleft deformities.’
    • ‘Many orthopedic conditions, just like dimples or cleft chins, are just normal variations of human anatomy that don't require treatment.’
    • ‘Advances in neonatology and pediatric anesthesia now have made it possible to perform cleft repair surgery during the neonatal period.’
    split, divided, cloven, parted, separated
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • be (or be caught) in a cleft stick

    • Be in a situation in which any action one takes will have adverse consequences.

      • ‘The general, adept in running with the hare and hunting with the hound, is now caught in a cleft stick.’
      • ‘But in fact the administration is in a cleft stick.’
      • ‘To the east of Bhutan, in Burma, Buddhism is caught in a cleft stick: since colonial days Buddhist monks have been involved in politics.’
      • ‘Yes, but on either way it seems to me you are caught in a cleft stick.’
      • ‘They're caught in a cleft stick situation where they either face being beaten up by dealers or arrested by the police for selling drugs.’
      • ‘As a result, the Sri Lankan ruling class has been caught in a cleft stick.’

Pronunciation:

cleft

/klɛft/

Main definitions of cleft in English

: cleft1cleft2

cleft2

noun

  • 1A fissure or split, especially in rock or the ground.

    ‘the third peak is divided from the eastern one by a deep cleft’
    • ‘Suddenly we were standing three hundred feet up, in a cleft in the vertical valley wall, looking out onto the Upper Grose Valley.’
    • ‘Somewhat protected from the ravaging winds of the bay is the area known as Carmel Valley, a cleft in the hills that still gets its share of marine coolness.’
    • ‘Several large, speckled stingrays ducked out of the current in small clefts in the channel wall.’
    • ‘There is an early legend that swallows and swifts hibernated in caves or clefts in the rocks.’
    • ‘In others the coast is worn and cut by deep clefts.’
    • ‘Where the sky would be is a uniform grayish blank, which defines both the far horizon (the ridge line) and the uppermost cleft of the rock with one long, graceful curve.’
    • ‘Its northern opening was located in a small cleft in the hillside at the bottom of an arroyo within eyeshot of the Texas border.’
    • ‘A thin cleft in the rock split the ridge like a wound.’
    • ‘We ate lunch above the east fork of Coal Wash before dropping into the deep gorge via a tricky cleft in the cliff.’
    • ‘The gypsy chief led the way through a stand of trees to a cleft in the mountain, a clearing of flat gray rock overlooking a deep forested valley.’
    • ‘These roadless hills have always been a refuge for rogues and reivers, a lawless area in times past where cattle-rustlers would hide their stolen beasts in secret clefts and hollows.’
    • ‘The kraal had been ripped asunder, and the ground within the rock cleft and by the cave entrance was littered with dead sheep.’
    • ‘It felt as if they took most of the night to reach the little green stream in the cleft of the valley, but Bligh knew it was no more than twenty minutes.’
    • ‘As I stop, crouching behind a tree to conceal myself, my foot dislodges some loose soil to reveal a deep, narrow cleft between two rocks.’
    • ‘You plunge into a winding cleft whose strata swirl across cliffs like a serrated knife through butter.’
    • ‘Rhinopomatids live in treeless arid regions and roost in caves, rock clefts, wells, houses, and pyramids.’
    • ‘One photogenic house turned out to be set in a cleft of hills so steep that it felt half-buried; several others had been sold months before.’
    • ‘He also noticed, growing out of a cleft in a rock in front of him, a strawberry plant with one ripe berry.’
    • ‘The plates are separated below by an angular cleft, the pterygoid fissure, the margins of which are rough and articulate with the pyramidal process of the palatine.’
    • ‘It is said that this water came from the cleft in the cliffs at Kovalam.’
    split, slit, crack, fissure, crevice, chasm, opening, rift, break, fracture, rent, breach, gash
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A vertical indentation in the middle of a person's forehead or chin.
      ‘the enticing cleft in his chin’
      • ‘She noticed that he had a small cleft on his chin that she'd never noticed before.’
      • ‘He ran his thumb down the cleft of his chin, self-consciously, over a small vertical shaving nick on the cleft of his chin.’
      • ‘His deep Italian accent made him look all the more adorable as did the small mole left on the cleft of his dimpled chin.’
      • ‘Her eyes trailed upwards and stopped at the small stubborn cleft in his square chin.’
      • ‘Suddenly his hand appeared on my chin, namely the rounded edges of his thumb ran back and forth against the cleft of my chin, then rested motionless right in the center.’
      • ‘The image of him was quickly fading from Kathleen's mind, but she remembered his firm chin, with a decided cleft down its middle.’
      • ‘If a particular landmark on the ear is a health indicator, why not the cleft in a chin or the tilt of a brow, asks McCarthy.’
      • ‘I have got photos of my client with these red lips and a big old cleft on his chin which he didn't have previously.’
      • ‘And the last one with the cleft in his chin who's all around nice and funny… his name is Marco.’
      • ‘There was a small cleft in his strong square chin and long dark eyelashes framed eyes the same rich dark brown as his hair.’
      • ‘The cleft at the forehead is .3 cm wide and 1.2 cm in depth, and the edges were carefully rounded.’
    2. 1.2A deep division between two parts of the body.
      • ‘Oral-facial clefts are birth defects in which the tissues of the mouth or lip don't form properly during fetal development.’
      • ‘It is rare that tissue is needed from elsewhere in the body to close a cleft.’
      • ‘Two major types of oral-facial clefts are cleft lip/palate and isolated cleft palate.’
      • ‘Post-op, patients are asked to refrain from sitting for about seven to 10 days because pressure can re-open the surgical incision, hidden in the cleft of the buttocks.’
      • ‘Many children who have clefts continue to work with a speech therapist throughout their grade-school years.’
      • ‘It diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to the end organ adrenergic receptor.’
      • ‘Stillbirth rates were not different in areas with fluoridation, nor were rates of trisomies, Down's syndrome, neural tube defects, and facial clefts.’
      • ‘This cleft is relatively deeper in larger individuals.’
      • ‘The surgeon will make an incision on each side of the cleft from the lip to the nostril.’
      • ‘The management that can be used is either to place some sort of obturator in the cleft or to close the cleft with available tissue of the roof of the mouth.’
      • ‘Some studies have linked benzodiazepine use during pregnancy to facial cleft and skeletal abnormalities in the fetus.’
      • ‘Jynx felt at the barely noticeable cleft, tracing her fingers down it until about hip-height.’
      • ‘Significant areas of fraying, hemorrhage, granulation tissue, or an unusually deep cleft also suggest lesions.’
      • ‘These clefts are usually incomplete clefts of the lip only.’
      • ‘The focus in the middle ear cleft may present as painless otorrhoea.’
      • ‘Ulceration mainly occurred on the dorsum of the medial three toes and interdigital clefts, occasionally extending to the sole of the foot.’
      • ‘He or she will feel for pulses behind your inside ankle bone or in the cleft between your big and next toe.’
      • ‘There is no nerve plexus in the clefts between these muscle layers.’
      • ‘For this reason, many children with clefts have myringotomy tubes surgically inserted into their ears at the time of their first reconstructive surgery.’
      • ‘Children with clefts often don't have enough tissue in their mouths, and the tissue they do have isn't fused together properly to form the roof of their mouths.’

Origin

Middle English clift: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kluft and German Kluft, also to cleave. The form of the word was altered in the 16th century by association with cleft.

Pronunciation:

cleft

/klɛft/