A sleeve (O. Eng. slieve, or slyf, 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 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 (cap sleeve) to floor-length. Most contemporary shirt sleeves end somewhere between the mid-upper arm and the wrist.
Early 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 developed.
To separate, as threads; to divide, as a collection of threads.
The knotted or entangled part of silk or thread.
Silk not yet twisted; floss.
The part of a garment that covers the arm. from 10th c.
“The sleeves on my coat are too long.”
A (usually tubular) covering or lining to protect a piece of machinery etc. from 19th c.
“This bearing requires a sleeve so the shaft will fit snugly.”
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. from 20th c.
A tattoo covering the whole arm.
A narrow channel of water.
sleave; untwisted thread.
A serving of beer measuring between 14 and 16 ounces.
A long, cylindrical plastic bag of cookies or crackers.
A double tube of copper into which the ends of bare wires are pushed so that when the tube is twisted an electrical connection is made. The joint thus made is called a McIntire joint.
To fit a sleeve to
To hide something up one’s sleeve.