Etymology
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cleat (n.)

c. 1300, clete "a wedge," from Old English *cleat "a lump," from West Germanic *klaut "firm lump" (source also of Middle Low German klot, klute, Middle Dutch cloot, Dutch kloot, Old High German kloz, German kloß "clod, dumpling").

In Middle English, a wedge of wood bolted to a spar, etc., to keep it from slipping (late 14c.). Meaning "thin metal plate fastened under a shoe, etc." (originally to preserve the sole) is from c. 1825, originally a dialect word. The athletic cleat, for gripping, is attested from 1904.

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Definitions of cleat
1
cleat (n.)
a metal or leather projection (as from the sole of a shoe); prevents slipping;
cleat (n.)
a fastener (usually with two projecting horns) around which a rope can be secured;
cleat (n.)
a strip of wood or metal used to strengthen the surface to which it is attached;
2
cleat (v.)
provide with cleats;
cleat running shoes for better traction
cleat (v.)
secure on a cleat;
cleat a line
From wordnet.princeton.edu