Definition of sliver in English:



  • 1A small, thin, narrow piece of something cut or split off a larger piece.

    ‘a sliver of cheese’
    figurative ‘there was a sliver of light under his door’
    • ‘The play begins at 7 p.m., so once you get out of the city traffic, you can relax and watch the darkening road ahead being slowly lit with slivers of light from diminutive shops.’
    • ‘Thin slivers of light streamed through the disjointed walls and glimmered through translucent containers, each capped and filled with a clear substance, lining several rows deep in the affixed shelving along one wall.’
    • ‘Hailey quickly dropped to the floor and picked up the shattered pieces, ignoring the thin slivers of glass which wedged in her fingers.’
    • ‘A sliver of light sliced into the room, broadening across the floor, and a hunched figure was silhouetted there.’
    • ‘Thin rounds of sliced onions, finely chopped pieces of cabbage, diced cucumber and thin slivers of carrot, are just the right food to chew on, while waiting for the main course at a formal dinner.’
    • ‘She didn't bother opening the blinds or turning on the light, so it was pretty dark in her room with the exception of the tiny slivers of light that shone through the curtains and the small aperture between the two curtains.’
    • ‘As we watch, two thin slivers of cloud run together.’
    • ‘Serve hot and use chopped spring onion and thin slivers of ginger for garnish.’
    • ‘The film is so dark, all muddy with only tiny slivers of light so we can try to see what's lurking around.’
    • ‘I am fully expecting to grill thin slivers of beetroot, again on a low heat, and fully intend to add grated horseradish to the salad dressing.’
    • ‘It hugged his waistline, and the dark green color brought out the lightness of the color in his eyes, making them look like light green slivers of ice.’
    • ‘Shaving slivers of chocolate bars and cutting centred chocolates, we let each sample melt naturally on the tongue to explore its qualities after examining the appearance of each offering.’
    • ‘It was eerie to stand in the centre of this huge, empty, dark space, with only a few slivers of light creeping in through the cracks in the hangar door.’
    • ‘A few narrow slots will be cut into the concrete to allow slivers of natural light into the lobby.’
    • ‘They came balanced on a bed of spinach and pasta dressed in a delicious creamy sauce with scallops, topped with thin slivers of crispy fried potato.’
    • ‘The lights of the city flying past dizzied me, the slivers of moonlight slicing through the trees and playing on the ground captivated me for as long as I could afford to be captivated.’
    • ‘What has never worked for me with the mosaic metaphor is that in a mosaic every piece is insurmountably separated from other pieces by a sliver of space on all sides.’
    • ‘I got slices of beef with thin slivers of fat on them.’
    • ‘Similarly, injuries caused by thin slivers of glass produce unimpressive skin wounds but commonly divide flexor tendons and nerves in the forearm.’
    • ‘The sole illumination comes from narrow windows that admit only slivers of light.’
    splinter, shard, shiver, chip, flake, shred, scrap, slither, shaving, paring
    slice, wafer
    piece, fragment, bit
    View synonyms
  • 2A strip of loose untwisted textile fibres produced by carding.


  • 1[with object] Cut or break (something) into small, thin, narrow pieces.

    ‘slivered almonds’
    • ‘The presentation was lovely, a creamy apricot-coloured purée topped with a swirl of sour cream and finely slivered zucchini and carrot.’
    • ‘There was even the most finely slivered vegetables, which turned out to be turnip and carrot, with the assorted raw dishes.’
    • ‘Super-dry jazz hi-hat work mixes with offhand synth-bass and slivered chirrups of sound sliced thin enough to be just impossible to place.’
    • ‘To sliver the basil, stack about six leaves at a time; starting at tip ends, roll up tightly, then thinly slice rolls crosswise.’
    • ‘And the cake I made today was an almond-orange chocolate cake; I added slivered almonds in the cake, and served the slices with grand marnier-flavored clotted cream.’
    • ‘I consider this a big improvement, although when I ordered what I assumed was my favorite cold appetizer of tofu and minced wild greens, I ended up with a hot platter of brothy slivered bean curd instead.’
    • ‘This wouldn't make too much of almond flavor, I thought, and then decided to add crystallized ginger bits in the batter, while slivered almonds would top the cake along with apricot wedges.’
    • ‘Make many tiny slits in the fatty side of the roast and insert as much slivered garlic as you possibly can.’
    • ‘If you like, add slivered fresh spinach leaves, diced jicama, blanched and slivered snow peas, supremed oranges, or a bit of julienned mint.’
    • ‘When their food finally came they were both delighted with a plate of dark steamed rice with raisins and slivered almonds, several strips of honey seasoned lamb, flat bread with butter and dried dates.’
    • ‘On the way home we talked longingly of sleep and filled ourselves enormous sandwiches of Swiss cheese, slivered bell peppers, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, salt, and pepper.’
    • ‘Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Chop the nuts roughly, and sliver the apricots.’
    • ‘A final work, Unravel, was a mainly white confection of foam-core strips, slivered paper plates and disassembled Chinese lanterns that descended from the ceiling in a vortex.’
    • ‘Tender slices of meat, brown on the edges and pink in the middle were touched with an onion marmalade then assembled with a variety of greens and slivered green beans, among other things.’
    • ‘It begins with a hefty amount of thinly slivered onions, sautéed until lightly caramelized and then doused with a mixture of egg and heavy cream, poured into a tart shell, and baked to golden.’
    • ‘The lightly poached egg that arrives on top of terrific, seemingly creamless spaghetti carbonara leaks its unctuous yolk over strips of pancetta, slivered endive and parsley, and slick al dente noodles.’
    • ‘Boost protein and healthy fat with a sprinkling of one tablespoon of sliced or slivered almonds.’
    • ‘Add 1/8 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads and 1 tablespoon slivered orange peel to vodka.’
    • ‘A lunch-time favorite is the shwarma sandwich, a pita-type of bread stuffed with slivered pieces of roasted lamb and seasoned with fresh green vegetables and a yogurt sauce.’
    • ‘She had added slivered almonds and I knew she had thought of me as she prepared it: the rest of my cousins hated almonds; I was her favorite and she had added them just for me!’
  • 2Convert (textile fibres) into slivers.

    ‘spun silk slivering’
    • ‘Women from the Pattushali community have all the traditional items necessary for ginning (separating the cotton from seed), carding, slivering and spinning into fine yarn, some of which can be over 100 counts.’


Late Middle English: from dialect slive ‘cleave’.