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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Irish cles (feat).


cleas m (genitive singular clis or cleasa, nominative plural cleasa or cleasanna)

  1. trick
    • 27 June 2015, Alan Titley, "Caimléireacht scrúdaithe", The Irish Times
      Is é an cleas is fearr, gan amhras, ná go mbeadh an obair déanta, []
      The best trick, of course, is that the work is done, []
  2. feat
  3. knack
  4. act

Alternative declension:

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From English class.


cleas m (genitive singular cleas, nominative plural cleasanna)

  1. (pejorative) class (of persons), gang


Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
cleas chleas gcleas
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]

  • cles” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.
  • “cleas” in Foclóir Gaeḋilge agus Béarla, Irish Texts Society, 1st ed., 1904, by Patrick S. Dinneen, page 146.
  • "cleas" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
  • Entries containing “cleas” in English-Irish Dictionary, An Gúm, 1959, by Tomás de Bhaldraithe.
  • Entries containing “cleas” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.

Scottish Gaelic[edit]


From Old Irish cles (feat).


cleas m (genitive singular cleasa, plural cleasan)

  1. prank, joke
  2. (dated) act, feat, exploit
  3. trick, stunt, device

Derived terms[edit]

  • cleasachd f (play, playing; recreation; juggling; conjuring)
  • cleasaich (play, verb)