- 1 a part of a piece of clothing that covers all or part of your arm a dress with short/long sleeves Dan rolled up his sleeves and washed his hands. see also shirtsleeve See related entries: Parts of clothing
- 2-sleeved (in adjectives) having sleeves of the type mentioned a short-sleeved shirt
- 3(also jacket especially in North American English) a stiff paper or cardboard envelope for a record a colourful sleeve design
- 4a tube that covers a part of a machine to protect it Word Origin Old English slēfe, slīef(e), slȳf; related to Middle Dutch sloove
(informal) a secret advantage, for example a piece of information or a skill, that you are ready to use if you need to to have an idea, a plan, etc. that will give you an advantage in a particular situation and that you keep secret until it is needed to have an idea, some plans, etc. that you keep ready to use if it becomes necessary to keep a plan or an idea secret until you need to use it Actually I do have a few ideas up my sleeve. (informal) to be secretly amused about something to prepare to work or fight to allow your feelings to be seen by other people He’s not one to wear his heart on his sleeve.