Cleave has two quite different meanings, to cling and to cut. "cleft" and "cloven" are also interesting participles.
I would be interested in finding out if there is any etymological connection between the two meanings.
Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Well, the Doc's explanation makes it clear they're actually two different words. But picture this: someone walks up to a tree stump with an axe. He or she swings the axe and cleaves the stump in two, only to find the axe is cleaving to the newly-split wood.
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