What does sleeve mean?

Definitions for sleeve

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word sleeve.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sleeve, armnoun

    the part of a garment that is attached at the armhole and that provides a cloth covering for the arm

  2. sleevenoun

    small case into which an object fits


  1. sleevenoun

    The part of a garment that covers the arm.

    The sleeves on my coat are too long.

  2. sleevenoun

    A (usually tubular) covering or lining to protect a piece of machinery etc.

    This bearing requires a sleeve so the shaft will fit snugly.

  3. sleevenoun

    A protective jacket or case, especially for a record, containing art and information about the contents; also the analogous leaflet found in a packaged CD.

  4. sleeveverb

    to fit a sleeve to

  5. Etymology: From sleve, from sliefe, slefe.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sleevenoun

    Etymology: slif , Saxon.

    Once my well-waiting eyes espy’d my treasure,
    With sleeves turn’d up, loose hair, and breast enlarged,
    Her father’s corn, moving her fair limbs, measure. Philip Sidney.

    The deep smock sleeve, which the Irish women use, they say, was old Spanish; and yet that should seem rather to be an old English fashion: for in armory, the fashion of the Manche, which is given in arms, being nothing else but a sleeve, is fashioned much like to that sleeve. And knights, in ancient times, used to wear their mistress’s or love’s sleeve upon their arms; sir Launcelot wore the sleeve of the fair maid of Asteloth in a tourney. Edmund Spenser, Ireland.

    Your hose should be ungarter’d, your sleeve unbutton’d, your shoe untied, demonstrating a careless desolation. William Shakespeare.

    You would think a smock a she-angel, he so chants to the sleeve-band, and the work about the square on’t. William Shakespeare.

    He was cloathed in cloth, with wide sleeves and a cape. Francis Bacon.

    In velvet white as snow the troop was gown’d,
    Their hoods and sleeves the same. Dryden.

    Methought I heard a voice cry, sleep no more!
    Macbeth doth murder sleep; the innocent sleep;
    Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
    The birth of each day’s life William Shakespeare.

    A brace of sharpers laugh at the whole roguery in their sleeves. Roger L'Estrange.

    Men know themselves utterly void of those qualities which the impudent sycophant ascribes to them, and in his sleeve laughs at them for believing. Robert South, Sermons.

    John laughed heartily in his sleeve at the pride of the esquire, John Arbuthnot, Hist. of John Bull.

    It is not for a man which doth know, or should know what orders, and what peaceable government requireth, to ask why we should hang our judgment upon the church’s sleeve, and why in matters of orders more than in matters of doctrine. Richard Hooker.


  1. Sleeve

    A sleeve (Old English: slīef, a word allied to slip, cf. Dutch sloof) is the part of a garment that covers the arm, or through which the arm passes or slips. The sleeve is a characteristic of fashion seen in almost every country and time period, across a myriad of styles of dress. Styles vary from close-fitting to the arm, to relatively unfitted and wide sleeves, some with extremely wide cuffs. Long, hanging sleeves have been used variously as a type of pocket, from which the phrase "to have up one's sleeve" (to have something concealed ready to produce) comes. There are many other proverbial and metaphorical expressions associated with the sleeve, such as "to wear one's heart upon one's sleeve", and "to laugh in one's sleeve". Early Western medieval sleeves were cut straight, and underarm triangle-shaped gussets were used to provide ease of movement. In the 14th century, the rounded sleeve cap was invented, allowing a more fitted sleeve to be inserted, with ease around the sleeve head and a wider cut at the back allowing for wider movement. Throughout the 19th century and particularly during the Victorian era in Western culture, the sleeves on women's dress at times became extremely wide, rounded or otherwise gathered and 'puffy', necessitating the need for sleeve supports worn inside a garment to support the shape of the sleeve. Various early styles of Western sleeve are still found in types of academic dress or other robes, such as ecumenical dress. Sleeve length varies in modern times from barely over the shoulder (cap sleeve) to floor-length (as seen in the Japanese furisode). Most contemporary shirt sleeves end somewhere between the mid-upper arm and the wrist.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sleevenoun

    see Sleave, untwisted thread

  2. Sleevenoun

    the part of a garment which covers the arm; as, the sleeve of a coat or a gown

  3. Sleevenoun

    a narrow channel of water

  4. Sleevenoun

    a tubular part made to cover, sustain, or steady another part, or to form a connection between two parts

  5. Sleevenoun

    a long bushing or thimble, as in the nave of a wheel

  6. Sleevenoun

    a short piece of pipe used for covering a joint, or forming a joint between the ends of two other pipes

  7. Sleeveverb

    to furnish with sleeves; to put sleeves into; as, to sleeve a coat

  8. Etymology: [OE. sleeve, sleve, AS. slfe, slfe; akin to slfan to put on, to clothe; cf. OD. sloove the turning up of anything, sloven to turn up one's sleeves, sleve a sleeve, G. schlaube a husk, pod.]


  1. Sleeve

    Sleeve is the part of a garment that covers the arm, or through which the arm passes or slips. The pattern of the sleeve is one of the characteristics of fashion in dress, varying in every country and period. Various survivals of the early forms of sleeve are still found in the different types of academic or other robes. Where the long hanging sleeve is worn it has, as still in China and Japan, been used as a pocket, whence has come the phrase to have up one's sleeve, to have something concealed ready to produce. There are many other proverbial and metaphorical expressions associated with the sleeve, such as to wear one's heart upon one's sleeve, and to laugh in one's sleeve. Sleeve length varies from barely over the shoulder to floor-length. Most contemporary shirt sleeves end somewhere between the mid-upper arm and the wrist.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sleeve

    slēv, n. the part of a garment which covers the arm: a tube into which a rod or other tube is inserted.—v.t. to furnish with sleeves.—ns. Sleeve′-band (Shak.), the wristband; Sleeve′-butt′on, a button or stud for the wristband or cuff.—adjs. Sleeved, furnished with sleeves; Sleeve′less, without sleeves.—ns. Sleeve′-link, two buttons, &c., joined by a link for holding together the two edges of the cuff or wristband; Sleeve′-nut, a double-nut for attaching the joint-ends of rods or tubes; Sleeve′-waist′coat, Sleeved′-waist′coat, a waistcoat with long sleeves, worn by porters, boots, &c.—Hang on the sleeve, to be dependent on some one; Have in one's sleeve, to have in readiness for any emergency; Laugh in one's sleeve, to laugh behind one's sleeve, to laugh privately or unperceived; Leg-of-mutton sleeve, a woman's sleeve full in the middle, tight at arm-hole and wrist. [A.S. sléfe, sléf, a sleeve—slúpan, to slip; cog. with Ger. schlauf.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. sleeve

    The word formerly used to denote the narrows of a channel, and particularly applied to the Strait of Dover, still called La Manche by the French. When Napoleon was threatening to invade England, he was represented trying to get into a coat, but one of the sleeves utterly baffled him, whence the point: "Il ne peut pas passer La Manche."

Editors Contribution

  1. sleeve

    A facet of a garment.

    The sleeve is beautiful on the wedding dress.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 7, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sleeve' in Nouns Frequency: #2162

How to pronounce sleeve?

How to say sleeve in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sleeve in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sleeve in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of sleeve in a Sentence

  1. Ross County Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt:

    Rebecca Cade sweatshirt sleeve was caught in the upper tines of the fence, and Rebecca Cade was suspended from one arm dangling on the fence.

  2. Roger Roth:

    Banning these everyday products, whether it is the sleeve for your morning coffee, the take-out container you bring home after a dinner out or the bag you bring your groceries home in only serves to hurt consumers.

  3. Joan Baez:

    It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page.

  4. Jordan Taylor:

    Kamui Kobayashi, once a Formula 1 driver and member of Taylors winning team last year, was spectacular and the Japanese driver closed the final three hours to beat No. 77 Mazda Team Joest by more than a minute. The Cadillac was the only car on the lead lap for long stretches of the race. Jordan Taylor, who finished fourth in the Le Mans class, couldnt even remember the last time a Wayne Taylor Racing car won a race without a Taylor in the cockpit. Jordan Taylor first guessed 2004, then amended Jordan Taylor answer to 2008. I think since 2013 we went only one year without finishing on the podium, its an incredible team, an incredible victory, a lot of good guys on the team who are like family. Jordan Taylor stoically watched from the Team Penske pits. I couldnt show too much excitement in our pits, Jordan Taylor said. But very happy for my dad and the whole team. They really deserved it, they were dominant. The race had a record 833 laps, breaking the mark of 808 set two seasons ago. Jordan Taylor now has two wins as a driver one when Jordan Taylor drove for Wayne Taylor Racing and four as a team owner. DragonSpeed USA won the Le Mans Prototype 2 class. BMW Team RLL won the Le Mans class for the second consecutive year. Paul Miller Racing won the GT Daytona Beach class, the slowest but stacked division that had 18 entries including the Aim Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 with Kyle Busch. Kyle Busch was really good in Kyle Busch first endurance race, but the team had its share of struggles with attrition and was never a contender. Still, Kyle Busch said hed be interested in a return to sports car racing, especially if Toyota or Lexus moves up to the prototype class, because hed like a shot at racing for the overall win. Hopefully there is some things that Toyotas got up their sleeve as to what kind of class they want to participate in and what kind of cars they want to run over here in the next few years, Kyle Busch said. I would certainly be, Scott Dixon know, all hands on deck to put my hands up to get ready to go for a DP overall win. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP New regulations reached for 2022 earlier this weekend would make IMSAs prototype class eligible for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, another race Busch could potentially elbow into in the future. Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson said the manufacturer has no current plans to move up in class with Lexus or enter prototypes with Toyota. We are very happy racing in the GTD Series and we intend to continue as we still have races and championships to win, Development President David Wilson said. We would not rule it out in the future, but at the present time we have no plans to participate. Kyle Busch was highly praised by Kyle Busch teammates, as well as team co-owner Jimmy Vasser, who said not one person in the organization had an issue with the temperamental driver. Kyle Busch impressed. I am not sure why we should be impressed. Hes a NASCAR champion. Hes won more NASCAR races in the modern day than anybody, but it takes a lot of confidence and guts to jump into a discipline that hed never really done before and he did it with ease.

  5. Brenda McDonald:

    She was so intrigued. ... There was no sympathy. There was no sadness. It was weird, like she wanted to be in my mother's shoes, it had everything to do with the crowd and the love. ... I'm telling you, I knew she had something up her sleeve.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sleeve

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for sleeve »


Find a translation for the sleeve definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"sleeve." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sleeve>.

Discuss these sleeve definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for sleeve? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a person who is member of one's class or profession
    • A. taper
    • B. sapling
    • C. confrere
    • D. chin-wag

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for sleeve: