claw

1 of 2

noun

often attributive
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)
clawed adjective
clawlike adjective

claw

2 of 2

verb

clawed; clawing; claws

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 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Go ahead, wear your softest sweats and throw your hair up into a claw clip. Olivia Young, Travel + Leisure, 13 Feb. 2024 As Jackman’s Wolverine claws comes out, Deadpool comically rethinks that plea for help. Dan Heching, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 Kate’s signature pieces, including eye-catching hair claws and barrettes, are meticulously crafted from resilient resin and cellulose acetate, ensuring both durability and style. Alex Kessler, Vogue, 8 Feb. 2024 At $15, the new claw clips are ideal for everyday use. Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 Coaching the actors included teaching them to hold a knife properly, using a pinch grip that chokes up on the blade for better control and curling fingers on the opposite hand like a claw, with thumb in. Jill Wendholt Silva, Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024 The actor became a star 23 years ago thanks to the original X-Men, and seemingly retired from the role with 2017’s Logan, before deciding to pick up the claws once more. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2024 The long slender blades, like the claws of a giant wolverine, are stacked in the port of New Bedford, ready to be barged out to sea and assembled onto turbines that believers say will help power America’s future. Alfredo Sosa, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Jan. 2024 The Cyclops is also back, with its pendulum swinging high above the ground as the claw rotates. Kari Barnett, Sun Sentinel, 10 Jan. 2024
Verb
The Toreros jumped out to a six-point lead five minutes into the game and then pulled away late in the second half after the Broncos had clawed their way back. Ivan Carter, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Feb. 2024 The cat had clawed the man on the shoulder a month before his symptoms began, close to the site where his first lesion was found. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 14 Feb. 2024 The Hurricanes led by 19 points with 10 minutes to go, and seemed to have the game in hand before the Panthers got hot from distance and clawed their way back to cut the gap to 70-68 on a clutch three-pointer by freshman Jaland Lowe with 46 seconds to go. Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald, 27 Jan. 2024 Launched in 2014, the game gave players the chance to live the life of an up-and-coming celeb, clawing their way up from the E-list to the A-list during the height of Kimye-era influencer culture. Vulture, 3 Jan. 2024 In a poignant piece published last week, my colleague Jack Dolan masterfully recounts how Carrasco clawed himself out of the depths of depression and back into the driver’s seat of an adventurous life. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2024 If nothing else, the movie is a refreshing change of pace from such properties as Orange Is the New Black, where the women rebuke and revile each other — both emotionally and physically — and The Real Housewives of Dallas, in which five women verbally clawed each others’ eyes out all spring. Brett Weiss, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 There are a bunch of reasons why this condition can make clawing yourself out of bed feel like an Olympic sport. Anna Borges, SELF, 18 Jan. 2024 Against all odds, the two men form an alliance and succeed in clawing their way out. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 15 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'claw.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near claw

Cite this Entry

“Claw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/claw. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

claw

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: a sharp usually slender and curved nail on the toe of an animal (as a cat or bird)
b
: a sharp curved extension especially if at the end of a limb (as of an insect)
also : one of the pincerlike organs on some limbs of arthropods (as a lobster or scorpion)
2
: something that resembles a claw in shape or use
clawed adjective
clawlike adjective

claw

2 of 2 verb
: to scratch, seize, or dig with or as if with claws

Medical Definition

claw

noun
: a sharp usually slender and curved nail on the toe of an animal
clawed adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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