claw

noun, often attributive
\ ˈklȯ \

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 \ adjective
clawlike \ ˈklȯ-​ˌlīk \ 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

Then the concrete beams will be demolished with a crab-claw-shape tool. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s big demolition spectacle: How crews plan to pulverize the Alaskan Way Viaduct," 5 Dec. 2018 From mini versions to large tortoise print claws,, embracing this trend is easier than getting your hands on some Dunkaroos. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid Wore a '90s-Inspired Hair Claw Clip," 6 Sep. 2018 Aliens from Toy Story The good thing about this one is that there is no limit on how many friends can join in on this costume – just beware of the claw. 12. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "36 Halloween Disney Costumes You And Your BFFs Can Pull Off," 16 Aug. 2018 Accuracy: 4/10, the big toe claw is right but these guys are way too big. Emma Stefansky, GQ, "The Definitive Jurassic Park Dinosaur Power Rankings," 21 June 2018 The claw marks in the plastic matched those of bear paws. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "It’s nature’s way, caught on camera," 27 May 2018 The Deer Park Pony League 10-and-under Yankees raced out to a big lead, watched the Pirates claw within four before the Yankees celebrated opening day at the Ruth Minchen Athletic Complex with an 18-8 victory at Ruth Minchen Field Saturday. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Yankees open Deer Park Pony League 10U season with 18-8 win," 24 Mar. 2018 And while the new series is less scary than that ’78 film, this is still nature red in tooth and claw. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Netflix’s Watership Down Is Not (Really) for Kids—And That’s a Good Thing," 22 Dec. 2018 Inside, gleaming wood floors have been well-cared for, bathrooms feature claw-foot tubs, and the house boasts an astonishing seven fireplaces. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Historic mansion with 7 fireplaces asks $650K," 21 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each card equals another set of parents, their lives clawed apart by the opioid epidemic. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019 So dockless bikes and, later, electric scooters rushed in to fill the void, securing millions if not billions in financing while clawing for market share. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 Is this a way for tech to start to claw its way back? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Big data could ‘stop famines from ever happening again,’ says World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim," 24 Sep. 2018 Looks like Jordan will get her rose this week...unless David claws his way in. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Bachelor in Paradise Season 5, Episode 2 Recap: The Colton and Tia Drama, Continued," 13 Aug. 2018 The scuttling, hissing and clawing noise from my squirrels was unusually loud. Sally Higginson, chicagotribune.com, "Column: A pair of squirrelly backyard pets," 12 July 2018 Crucial update: Kind of like a zombie who claws her way out of a body bag to fight crime and sexist portrayals of women in cinema, nail art is mostly dead, but just *slightly* less dead than before. Chelsea Peng, Marie Claire, "The New Nail Polish Trend Is Like Jelly Shoes for Your Nails," 3 June 2015 Box-office records have been getting clawed to pieces by Chadwick Boseman’s African warrior. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Black Panther': 5 lessons we learned from the Marvel phenom's amazing run," 22 Mar. 2018 Surveillance video released captured two girls throwing punches and clawing at one another for more than a minute as the bus was in motion. Fox News, "Hammer-wielding mom caught smashing school bus full of kids, officials say," 13 June 2018

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

13 Feb 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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of claw

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

Other Words from claw

clawed \ ˈklȯd \ 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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