Questions about example sentences with, and the definition and usage of "Cleave"

The meaning of "Cleave" in various phrases and sentences

Q: What does cleave mean?
A: To cleave is to hold on tightly, a firm hold or grip.
Q: What does cleave mean?
A: To split something
Q: What does cleave mean?
A: to cut or split in half

Synonyms of "Cleave" and their differences

Q: What is the difference between to cleave and to slit ?
A: Cleave is a more aggressive version of a verb to cut something, it is a less refined action. To slit would be to make a small thin cut , like "to slit someone's throat" you would more use cleave for something like chopping a tree with an axe , e.g. "he cleaves the tree in half"
Q: What is the difference between cleave and dichotomize ?
A: Cleave means to cut, it is not a very common term we would be more likely to use cut or chop. I think it is used in biology when describing cutting DNA and like.

Dichotomize is very unusual - it may be used in some sciences but it seems to me to be one of those verbs that have been made out of a noun.
Dichotomy is a more common term meaning 2 parts, split into 2 or a choice of two distinct options.
My guess is that cleave is to cut, but without any indication of how many parts result from the operation; whereas, dichotomize would produce two (and only two) distinct parts.

Translations of "Cleave"

Q: How do you say this in English (US)? cleave
A: Pronounced like "sleeve."

Meanings and usages of similar words and phrases

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