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  1. (obsolete or dialectal) clever
    • 1918, Harold Bindloss, The Buccaneer Farmer[1]:
      There's ways a cliver agent can run up a reckoning, and when you want Mireside I'll have to gan." "
    • 1893, Robert Michael Ballantyne, The World of Ice[2]:
      "Ah, but it's a cliver trick, no doubt of it."
    • 1861, George Eliot, Silas Marner[3]:
      For I've often a deal inside me as'll never come out; and for what you talk o' your folks in your old country niver saying prayers by heart nor saying 'em out of a book, they must be wonderful cliver; for if I didn't know "Our Father", and little bits o' good words as I can carry out o' church wi' me, I might down o' my knees every night, but nothing could I say."
    • 1831, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Eugene Aram, Complete[4]:
      Oh, they be cliver creturs, and they'll do what they likes with old Nick, when they gets there, for 'tis the old gentlemen they cozens the best; and then," continued the Corporal, waxing more and more loquacious, for his appetite in talking grew with that it fed on,--"then there be another set o' queer folks you'll see in Lunnon, Sir, that is, if you falls in with 'em,--hang all together, quite in a clink.



XVIth century, from Dutch klieven, of Germanic origin. More at English cleave.



  1. to cleave
    Le minéral se clive en formes régulières délimitées par les plans de clivage.


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IPA(key): /ˈklɪvər/


cliver (comparative cliverer, superlative cliverest)

  1. swift, quick, speedy
  2. handsome, well-made