The Cleat comes from the nautical world where a cleat is defined as "A device attaching a rope". In essence it means to hold to things together.
Image taken from wikipedia, of a rope properly affixed to a cleat.
There are several types of cleat:
* A traditional cleat has two horns, with a hollow place in the middle (above)
* A cam cleat in which one or two cams pinch the rope but allow the rope to easily be pulled tighter. It controls the movement of the rope, so it acts as a safety device.
* A jam cleat in which the line is pinched in a v-shaped slot.
* A clam cleat (or jam cleat) in which the rope is held between two fluted stationary pieces. Such a cleat vaguely resembles two halves of a clam shell held back to back.
There are also other examples of 'cleats' outside mariner/rigging uses......
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