1a fissure or split, especially in rock or the ground:the third peak is divided from the eastern one by a deep cleft
a vertical indentation in the middle of a person’s forehead or chin:the enticing cleft in his chin
a deep division between two parts of the body.
2 (also cleft sentence) Grammar a sentence in which an element is emphasized by being put in a separate clause, with the use of an empty introductory word such as it or that, e.g. it’s money we want; it was today that I saw him; that was the King you were talking to.
Middle Englishclift: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kluft and German Kluft, also to cleave1. The form of the word was altered in the 16th century by association with cleft1