Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

reclaim

play
verb re·claim \ri-ˈklām\

Simple Definition of reclaim

  • : 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of reclaim

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to recall from wrong or improper conduct :  reform b :  tame, subdue

  3. 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>

  4. 3 :  to obtain from a waste product or by-product :  recover <reclaimed plastic>

  5. 4 a :  to demand or obtain the return of b :  to regain possession of

reclaimable play \-ˈklā-mə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of reclaim in a sentence

  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>.

RECLAIM Defined for Kids

reclaim

play
verb re·claim \ri-ˈklām\

Definition of reclaim for Students

reclaimedreclaiming

  1. 1 :  to get back (something that was lost or taken away) <The skater reclaimed her championship.>

  2. 2 :  to restore to an original state <reclaim a swamp>

  3. 3 :  to obtain from a waste product or by-product <The bottles are made from reclaimed plastic.>




Law Dictionary

reclaim

play
transitive verb re·claim \ˌrē-ˈklām\

Legal Definition of reclaim

  1. 1 :  to make fit or available for human use <reclaiming land that had been strip-mined>

  2. 2a :  to demand the return of by right b :  to regain possession of





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up reclaim? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of perception or understanding

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove soothe reduce perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ