Related to sleave: sleeve
A fine thread or skein of thread.
[From Middle English *sleven, to disentangle, from Old English *slǣfan, to cut, from slāf, past tense of slīfan, to split.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Knitting & Sewing) a tangled thread
2. (Textiles) a thin filament unravelled from a thicker thread
3. chiefly poetic anything matted or complicated
(Knitting & Sewing) to disentangle (twisted thread, etc)
[Old English slǣfan to divide; related to Middle Low German slēf, Norwegian sleiv big spoon]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
v. sleaved, sleav•ing,
1. to divide or separate into filaments, as silk.n.
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, esp. a floss silk used in embroidery.
[1585–95; Old English -slǣfan (only in tōslǣfan), akin to slīfan to split; compare sliver]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: sleaved
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011