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 This South Florida specialty is harvested from October to May for the claws only—fishermen snap off a claw and toss the crab back into the water to regenerate a new one. Julia Rutland, Southern Living, "Your Biggest Crab Cooking Questions Answered," 29 June 2020 The Brewers jumped in front 5-1, watched the Dodgers claw within 5-4, before winning going away. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "NASA Area Little League D-backs survive battle of sixth-inning rallies in 3-2 win," 24 June 2020 The subdued color and grass-cloth finish of the console mellow the high-contrast entry, which also gets touches of whimsy from claw-foot stools and a peacock print. Marni Elyse Katz, Better Homes & Gardens, "Coastal Colors and Boho-Inspired Accents Revive This 130-Year-Old Victorian," 23 June 2020 Urban Cowboy B&BNashville, TennesseeThis adult hotel (meaning only guests 21 and older are allowed) is located in East Nashville, with eight themed suites; claw foot bathtubs; and a lively bar and restaurant out back. Shauna Beni, Condé Nast Traveler, "Black-Owned Hotels Throughout the World," 17 June 2020 Deciding with your vet whether or not Sampson or Nugget needs regular claw trims is simple. Popular Science, "Dog nail clippers and grinders for well-manicured paws," 17 June 2020 In his eyes, this approach springs from the bloodshed of the French Revolution, the tooth-and-claw world of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the utopian hunger to build a more perfect world in an imperfect realm of existence. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Bill Barr’s Invisible Crusade," 8 June 2020 At 8:33, the Volvo excavator clenched its metal claw and punched into the roof of the back wing, near an exit. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Good riddance to the place called the ‘Han Hell,’ where drugs and death were dealt," 3 June 2020 Mitten crabs likely transported in ships’ ballast water or possibly intentionally released to create a local source for seafood markets are beginning to get a claw-hold in U.S. bays and rivers. Rene Ebersole, National Geographic, "In ‘Operation Hidden Mitten,’ U.S. cracks down on smuggling of hairy-clawed crab," 22 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb San Antonio’s tourism and hospitality industry, decimated by monthslong closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, is starting to claw its way back as major hotels, theme parks and other attractions announce plans to cautiously reopen. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio theme parks, hotels begin reopening," 10 June 2020 Milwaukee was able to claw its way to the playoffs for a second straight year even though Yelich fouled a ball off his kneecap in September and was unavailable for the home stretch. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These are 50 of the best single seasons in Wisconsin sports history: Nos. 25-1," 9 June 2020 In other words, this isn’t a regular G League experience with all the obvious drawbacks of putting an 18-year old onto a minor league team full of physically mature men who are trying to scratch and claw their way to an NBA contract. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: NCAA getting what it wished for with new G League program, and may regret it," 16 Apr. 2020 After 85 to 87 days, the young iguanas hatch from their eggs and claw their way to the surface. National Geographic, "Jamaican iguana," 3 Mar. 2020 The throttle response is immediate as turbo lag never shows its ugly face, giving the Summit Turbo the ability to claw its way to the top of the fluffy white gold with ease. David Beard, Car and Driver, "2020 Ski-Doo Summit 850 Turbo Finds Higher Ground," 14 Feb. 2020 Her small hands clawed her back, her hips, her belly; everywhere. Emma Donoghue, The Atlantic, "The Blood Tax," 12 May 2020 The clubs were no longer trying to claw power away from the leagues. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Soccer Arrives at a Fork in the Road," 8 May 2020 The state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana arranged for hundreds of buses to ferry migrants home, causing chaotic scenes as thousands descended upon stations trying to claw their way onto buses. Vedika Sud, Helen Regan And Esha Mitra, CNN, "Doctors say India must prepare for an 'onslaught' as one of Asia's biggest slums reports first coronavirus death," 3 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for claw

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for claw

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Claw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/claw. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for claw

claw

noun
How to pronounce claw (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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