Dictionary

reclaim

verb re·claim \ri-ˈklām\

: to get back (something that was lost or taken away)

: to make (land) available for use by changing its condition

: to get (a usable material) from materials that have been used before

Full Definition of RECLAIM

transitive verb
1
a :  to recall from wrong or improper conduct :  reform
b :  tame, subdue
2
a :  to rescue from an undesirable state; also :  to restore to a previous natural state <reclaim mining sites>
b :  to make available for human use by changing natural conditions <reclaim swampland>
3
:  to obtain from a waste product or by-product :  recover <reclaimed plastic>
4
a :  to demand or obtain the return of
b :  to regain possession of
re·claim·able \-ˈklā-mə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of RECLAIM

  1. Sons and daughters are proudly reclaiming the traditions that their parents had forgotten.
  2. She reclaimed the title of world champion this year.
  3. You might be able to reclaim some of the money you contributed.
  4. Environmental groups have been reclaiming contaminated sites.
  5. Acres of land were reclaimed by conservationists.
  6. The factory reclaims fibers from textile wastes.

Origin of RECLAIM

Middle English reclamen, from Anglo-French reclamer, from Latin reclamare to cry out, protest, from re- + clamare to cry out — more at claim
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of RECLAIM

rescue, deliver, redeem, ransom, reclaim, save mean to set free from confinement or danger. rescue implies freeing from imminent danger by prompt or vigorous action <rescued the crew of a sinking ship>. deliver implies release usually of a person from confinement, temptation, slavery, or suffering <delivered his people from bondage>. redeem implies releasing from bondage or penalties by giving what is demanded or necessary <job training designed to redeem school dropouts from chronic unemployment>. ransom specifically applies to buying out of captivity <tried to ransom the kidnap victim>. reclaim suggests a bringing back to a former state or condition of someone or something abandoned or debased <reclaimed long-abandoned farms>. save may replace any of the foregoing terms; it may further imply a preserving or maintaining for usefulness or continued existence <an operation that saved my life>.
RECLAIMABLE Defined for Kids

reclaim

verb re·claim \ri-ˈklām\
re·claimedre·claim·ing

Definition of RECLAIM for Kids

1
:  to get back (something that was lost or taken away) <The skater reclaimed her championship.>
2
:  to restore to an original state <reclaim a swamp>
3
:  to obtain from a waste product or by-product <The bottles are made from reclaimed plastic.>

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: reclaimantPrevious Word in the Dictionary: reckoningAll Words Near: reclaim
July 03, 2015
interpellate Hear it
to formally question a public official
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