noun, often attributive \ˈkl\

: a sharp curved part on the toe of an animal (such as a cat or bird)

: a body part of an animal (such as a lobster or crab) that is used for gripping and holding things

: a part on a tool or machine that is used for gripping, digging, etc.

Full Definition of CLAW

:  a sharp usually slender and curved nail on the toe of an animal
:  any of various sharp curved processes especially at the end of a limb (as of an insect); also :  a limb ending in such a process
:  one of the pincerlike organs terminating some limbs of various arthropods (as a lobster or scorpion)
:  something that resembles a claw; specifically :  the forked end of a tool (as a hammer)
clawed \ˈkld\ adjective
claw·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of CLAW

  1. The eagle was carrying a mouse in its sharp claws.
  2. The excavating machine's claw dug into the earth.
  3. the claw of a hammer

Origin of CLAW

Middle English clawe, from Old English clawu hoof, claw; akin to Old Norse klō claw, and probably to Old English cliewen ball — more at clew
First Known Use: before 12th century



: to scratch, grip, or dig with claws or fingers

Full Definition of CLAW

transitive verb
:  to rake, seize, dig, or progress with or as if with claws
intransitive verb
:  to scrape, scratch, dig, or pull with or as if with claws

Examples of CLAW

  1. How can we stop the cat from clawing the drapes?
  2. The dog clawed a hole in the carpet.
  3. She tried to claw his face with her fingernails.

First Known Use of CLAW

before 12th century


noun \ˈkl\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CLAW

:  a sharp usually slender and curved nail on the toe of an animal
clawed \ˈkld\ adjective
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears