Definition of cleavage in US English:

cleavage

noun

  • 1A sharp division; a split.

    ‘a system dominated by the class cleavage’
    • ‘A sharp cleavage between secular and religious models of society emerged.’
    • ‘This distinction cuts across other cleavages between administrator, educator and student.’
    • ‘To existing social splits were added inter-working class cleavages which were all too apparent by November 1916.’
    • ‘The division between the new middle class and the old middle class is a critical factor in creating social cleavages that foster particular kinds of religious affiliation.’
    • ‘Class, education, and income disparities, as well as regional, community size and gender differences mark off central cleavages between the two groups.’
    • ‘As a result both the place of religion in our country not only became a central issue, but also generated profound and enduring cleavages.’
    • ‘They establish these statutes as establishing a sharp cleavage between drunkenness and nondrunkenness.’
    • ‘Income, too, can also be a source of internal class cleavages.’
    • ‘It is a function of that same openness that no sharp cleavages can be sighted between the traditional and the modern in India.’
    • ‘Of course, these commonalities were fragmented with cleavages along the now-familiar lines of class, gender, and nationality.’
    • ‘Although there has clearly been an electoral re-alignment away from the traditional class cleavages, this has not given way to a stark cultural divide.’
    • ‘And what we need to sort out now is our differences and these profound cleavages that have effected us in this society.’
    • ‘The political forces that favoured modernization were themselves divided by the old cleavage of religion.’
    • ‘Over the next decade, political and generational cleavages deepened, facilitated by the security services.’
    • ‘The other is the re-emergence of the old cleavages of rich and poor.’
    • ‘Since the 1950s music has developed into one of the most important means of social distinction, symbolizing the cleavage between young people and adults.’
    • ‘Taken as a whole, the project creates a progression of refractions, a series of cleavages that structure the contraction of the landscape.’
    • ‘The break goes beyond the ethnic and religious cleavages.’
    • ‘There was not this sharp consciousness of the cleavages and different realities in our social existence long ago as that which is so evident today.’
    • ‘The social cleavages and distinctions did not hinder its dissemination.’
    breaking, breakage, cracking, rupture, shattering, fragmentation, splintering, splitting, separation, bursting, disintegration
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The hollow between a woman's breasts when supported, especially as exposed by a low-cut garment.
      • ‘Laura's hand was on her chest, pushing her already low, revealing shirt even lower, exposing more cleavage.’
      • ‘‘Guess the strap from my bag pulled it open,’ she improvises, moving quickly to fasten her shirt and cover up her exposed cleavage.’
      • ‘I made my way over to him, but my way was blocked by a young woman with a low-cut top that revealed a large portion of her cleavage.’
      • ‘Her top was extremely low cut with her cleavage barely staying in.’
      • ‘It was mostly dark red taffeta, the gown; but the low cut, cleavage showing bodice was over laid in thin, black, netting like lace and the skirt was trimmed with a black gauze sash.’
      • ‘The bodice was low cut and showed cleavage as it scooped.’
      • ‘Her tight pants hugged her hips while her button down shirt exposed too much cleavage.’
      • ‘With a quick nod, I walked out, grabbing a random scarf off the rack to cover my exposed cleavage.’
      • ‘Her towel was around her chest, but exposing her cut and her cleavage.’
      • ‘She wears glittery low-cut tops and doesn't mind showing off her ample cleavage.’
      • ‘You can distinguish the female of the species by her exposed cleavage and teetering walk.’
      • ‘It can be large or small, with a pronounced cleavage or with the breasts entirely separated.’
      • ‘The dress is very low cut, revealing much cleavage and accentuating her breasts.’
      • ‘Lorraine leaned into Jay's open window, purposely revealing a great deal of her cleavage.’
      • ‘Above the bead, a slim belt of baggy creases circled her round beneath her bosom and her cleavage was covered modestly.’
      • ‘Carrie was wearing a denim skirt and another v-neck that exposed her cleavage.’
      • ‘If they say that we cannot expose a women's cleavage, then women's beach volleyball should not be allowed.’
      • ‘It was cut in a boat-neck style in the front, not revealing too much cleavage but exposing plenty of skin and her collar bone.’
      • ‘She leaned over the counter, pushing her breasts together to form a cleavage line on her chest.’
      • ‘A lab assistant comes up to us, the top of her labcoat open and generous cleavage and breasts are in danger of falling out.’
    2. 1.2Biology Cell division, especially of a fertilized egg cell.
      • ‘The cells deriving from cleavage divisions are often called blastomeres.’
      • ‘The transparent, 100-m-diameter oocyte is fertilized and undergoes rapid mitotic cleavage cycles.’
      • ‘One important difference involves the cleavage patterns; the division of cells in the early embryo.’
      • ‘In most cell types DNA cleavage occurs after irreversible activation of endonucleases.’
      • ‘For a successful division to take place the cell has to determine the location, where to separate, and the point of time to start cell cleavage.’
    3. 1.3 The splitting of rocks or crystals in a preferred plane or direction.
      • ‘If these photons are reflected back into the junction, by a cleavage plane in the crystal, for example, a standing wave can be established.’
      • ‘We used the cleavage plane of mica crystals as a model substrate in this work.’
      • ‘Fold limbs are upward facing with respect to cleavage, and beds intruded by the studied granitoid rocks are not overturned.’
      • ‘Thus, properties such as malleability, a high degree of hardness, poor cleavage, and chemical inertness are favorable.’
      • ‘Many, if not most, of these are cleavage cracks, but it is important to understand that fractures and cleavages are not the same thing.’
      • ‘Their associated cleavage can be traced directly across the unconformity.’
      • ‘Discoveries expanded from good mineral specimens to include true gem material, transparent crystals, and cleavage fragments of fine red color.’
      • ‘Thus, the crystals have cleavage planes for the necessary migration aptitude.’
      • ‘These inclusions were found within the cleavage planes of the crystal structure of the biotites.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, both stones are extensively flawed with fractures, visible cleavage, and visible mineral inclusions.’
      • ‘All minerals posses specific physical properties such as color, luster, crystal form, cleavage, fracture, hardness, and specific gravity.’
      • ‘This cleavage is roughly parallel to the axial plane of the folds described previously and has a reverse-fan disposition.’
      • ‘Where possible, flawed sections are removed and larger crystals cut into smaller pieces with minimal wastage by splitting the crystal along natural cleavage planes.’
      • ‘The first phenomenon was observed in cleavage sections by David Brewster in 1819.’
      • ‘A few faces at unusual angles were noted, but these appear to be cleavage planes.’
      • ‘The mean cleavage plane exhibits a small amount of apparent clockwise transection.’
      • ‘These have a good slaty cleavage in pelitic rocks and a well-developed crenulation cleavage in places.’
      • ‘It has indistinct cleavage and an uneven fracture and is sectile.’
      • ‘Diamonds have cleavage planes in four directions, making them highly susceptible to shattering when struck by a hard blow.’
      • ‘This is because this mineral was always observed as fine-grained inclusions parallel to the cleavage of biotite crystals.’

Pronunciation

cleavage

/ˈklēvij//ˈklivɪdʒ/