from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A U-shaped metal piece with holes in each end through which a pin or bolt is run, used as a fastening device.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A U-shaped coupling having holes at each end, through which a bolt is run; used especially to fit attachments to a tractor or other vehicle as it allows a degree of rotation about the bolt.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A piece of metal bent in the form of an oxbow, with the two ends perforated to receive a pin, used on the end of the tongue of a plow, wagen, etc., to attach it to a draft chain, whiffletree, etc.; -- called also clavel, clevy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An iron bent in the form of a stirrup, horseshoe, or the letter U, with the two ends perforated to receive a pin, used to connect a draft-chain or whipple-tree to a cart or plow.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a coupler shaped like the letter U with holes through each end so a bolt or pin can pass through the holes to complete the coupling; used to attach a drawbar to a plow or wagon or trailer etc.
From clevi, possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse klofi, cleft.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1590s. Origin unknown; probably derived from the verb "to cleave". If so, the word ultimately may stem from Scandinavian: cf. Old Norse kljufa (to split). (Wiktionary)