claw

noun, often attributive
\ ˈklȯ How to pronounce claw (audio) \

Definition of claw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a sharp usually slender and curved nail on the toe of an animal
2 : 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
3 : one of the pincerlike organs terminating some limbs of various arthropods (such as a lobster or scorpion)
4 : something that resembles a claw specifically : the forked end of a tool (such as a hammer)

claw

verb
clawed; clawing; claws

Definition of claw (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from claw

Noun

clawed \ ˈklȯd How to pronounce clawed (audio) \ adjective
clawlike \ ˈklȯ-​ˌlīk How to pronounce clawlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of claw in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

How can we stop the cat from clawing the drapes? The dog clawed a hole in the carpet. She tried to claw his face with her fingernails.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Tuesday, the actress shared a photo of Joe relaxing in a claw-foot bathtub ahead of their big day. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Sophie Turner Goes Bridal in White Column Gown Alongside Suited-Up Joe Jonas at Pre-Wedding Bash," 28 June 2019 In her artwork that combines illustrations with paper craft, a woman’s hand takes the place of the claw and housekeeping objects replace stuffed toys. Rohini Kejriwal, Quartz India, "This Indian artist is retelling popular western fairy tales, minus the gender stereotypes," 14 June 2019 Despite the monster-themed fashion, the nails weren't meant to be claw-like or creepy — that aesthetic was saved for the werewolf, zombie or skeleton gloves donned by some models. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Models Got Horror-Ready at Moschino's Spooky 2020 Fashion Show," 8 June 2019 Anyone who sees one is warned not to approach it and risk an encounter with its sharp teeth and claws. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, "This lizard can get big enough to eat a cat - and it’s on the prowl in Plantation," 6 June 2019 The vision behind the claw-like nails was to show over the top exaggerated golden details with Latin/Spanish royalty vibes. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Rosalía's New Music Video For "Aute Cuture" Is An Ode To Over-The-Top Nails," 31 May 2019 Closer examination, however, revealed brown patches on its white fur, uncharacteristically long claws and a slightly hunched back. Quanta Magazine, "Interspecies Hybrids Play a Vital Role in Evolution," 24 Aug. 2017 And monster crustaceans do indeed lurk in the interior: crabs 3-feet broad, with claws as powerful as the jaws of an alligator. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Trouble in paradise, forgotten vets, remembering Tiananmen," 27 June 2019 But if you are only given x and z, finding y — and hence the claw — is impossible, even for a quantum computer. Quanta Magazine, "How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After opening the tournament with a 5-4 loss to Westbury last Friday night, Bayside clawed its way back with a 10-8 win over that same Westbury squad Sunday night, followed by a 9-8 triumph over Pearland Monday night. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Never-say-die Bayside 11s overcome first-night Section 3 loss to clinch trip to state championship," 10 July 2019 In a gritty-not-pretty performance, the Red Sox clawed slowly but insistently to wipe out disadvantages of 2-0, 3-2, and 5-3. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Persistent Red Sox beat back, walk off Chicago," 24 June 2019 The Tigers clawed their way back from a five-point deficit at the break, thanks to hot shooting from Bryce Brown,... Laine Higgins, WSJ, "Auburn Is Streaking to the Final Four," 31 Mar. 2019 Not surprisingly, no one doomed to the undercard events clawed their way out of the basement. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "20 for 2020: Dual Democratic debates in Miami could be defining or disastrous for presidential hopefuls," 24 June 2019 With the help of an interception, La Porte would claw within the final score but no closer. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial topples Furr, La Porte in 7-on-7 action," 17 June 2019 Over the last few decades, mathematicians have clawed their way toward proving Erdős and Szemerédi’s threshold. Quanta Magazine, "How a Strange Grid Reveals Hidden Connections Between Simple Numbers," 6 Feb. 2019 That’s because both the Bronco 12s and Pinto 8s had to scratch and claw just to get themselves in the driver’s seat to the title. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Three Deer Park teams clinch berths to Directors Tournament title games on Father’s Day," 15 June 2019 Just as the ball seemed to be crossing the line, Endler curled her fingers around it, and clawed it away. New York Times, "Chile Goalkeeper Equal to the Task, if Not to the Team," 16 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'claw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of claw

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for claw

Noun

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

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Statistics for claw

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for claw

The first known use of claw was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for claw

claw

noun

English Language Learners Definition of claw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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.

claw

verb

English Language Learners Definition of claw (Entry 2 of 2)

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

claw

noun
\ ˈklȯ How to pronounce claw (audio) \

Kids Definition of claw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a sharp usually thin and curved nail on the finger or toe of an animal (as a cat or bird)
2 : the end of a limb of some animals (as an insect, scorpion, or lobster) that is pointed or used for grasping

claw

verb
clawed; clawing

Kids Definition of claw (Entry 2 of 2)

: to scratch, seize, or dig with claws or fingers They clawed a hole in the beach sand.

claw

noun
\ ˈklȯ How to pronounce claw (audio) \

Medical Definition of claw

: a sharp usually slender and curved nail on the toe of an animal

Other Words from claw

clawed \ ˈklȯd How to pronounce clawed (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on claw

Spanish Central: Translation of claw

Nglish: Translation of claw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of claw for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about claw

Comments on claw

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