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Middle English slivere, sliver from Middle English sliven ‎(to cut, cleave, split), from Old English -slīfan (as in tōslīfan ‎(to split, split up)).



sliver ‎(plural slivers)

  1. A long piece cut or rent off; a sharp, slender fragment; a splinter.
    • 2013, J. M. Coetzee, The Childhood of Jesus. Melbourne, Australia: The Text Publishing Company. chapter 27. p. 270.
      A sliver of bone has punctured a lung, and a small surgical operation was needed to remove it (would he like to keep the bone as a memento?--it is in a phial by his bedside).
  2. A strand, or slender roll, of cotton or other fiber in a loose, untwisted state, produced by a carding machine and ready for the roving or slubbing which precedes spinning.
  3. Bait made of pieces of small fish. Compare kibblings.
  4. (US, New York) A narrow high-rise apartment building.




sliver ‎(third-person singular simple present slivers, present participle slivering, simple past and past participle slivered)

  1. (transitive) To cut or divide into long, thin pieces, or into very small pieces; to cut or rend lengthwise; to slit.
    to sliver wood
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    • Sir Walter Scott
      They'll sliver thee like a turnip.