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 \-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

Their tracks, if well preserved, often feature the sharp points of claws. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, "Fossil hunting 101: Lessons from a self-taught dinosaur tracker," 16 June 2018 Perhaps investing in one of these old-school sets will motivate you to actually take care of those claws. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "The He-Manicure: A Guide to CEO-Worthy Nails," 2 May 2018 In addition to their uncommon age, some of the prints are particularly detailed and well-preserved, showing clear outlines and even the presence of claws. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Dozens of Pristine Dino Footprints Found on Island in Scotland," 3 Apr. 2018 The writers of the Bible likened these empires to great mutant beasts, with sharp fangs, powerful claws and multiple heads. Rachel Held Evans, Washington Post, "The Bible is literature for the resistance," 12 July 2018 Someone called Boulder County EMS, and an ambulance took me to a hospital, where doctors told me I had five bite marks in my head, deep cuts from claws across my face, and bruises on my chest and neck. Patty Hodapp, Outside Online, "The Man Who Survived a Rattler, Bear, and Shark Attack," 10 July 2018 The savage creature is concocted in Dr. Wu's (B.D. Wong) secret dinosaur laboratory for maximum teeth, lengthy arms and killer claws. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Indoraptor kills it as the villainous new dinosaur of 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom'," 19 June 2018 The courtyard was jammed with young men with claw-like metal braces protruding from bandaged legs. Hanah Salah, latimes.com, "Israel shoots to wound, not kill. That has led to a wave of amputations in Gaza," 8 June 2018 With each post, this friend included the claw’s measurements and a phone number. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Tusks, Horns, and Claws: The Fight to Dismantle the Facebook Animal Parts Bazaar," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Last season, the Pioneers trailed by 11 before clawing their way back to win in overtime. Jim Derry, NOLA.com, "Crescent City can't regain 2017 magic, falls to Jehovah-Jireh in Division V title game," 9 Mar. 2018 Other accounts said the woman had clawed at her attacker, but there were no reports that James bore any marks. Joe Heim, Washington Post, "Sacred ground, now reclaimed: A Charlottesville story," 7 July 2018 As millennials stumble, claw, or sail their way into adulthood, the lists of gender-specific skills every man (or woman) should know are giving way to something new — a unisex form of adulting. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie, BostonGlobe.com, "The triumph of gender-neutral ‘adulting’," 7 July 2018 After Vegas built a 3-2 lead in the second period, Washington had to claw its way back and did so thanks to one of the unlikeliest stars of these playoffs. Author: Rick Maese, Anchorage Daily News, "Capitals, and Washington, celebrate a Stanley Cup victory decades in the making," 8 June 2018 After Vegas built a 3-2 lead in the second period, Washington had to claw its way and did so thanks to one of the unlikeliest stars of these playoffs. Rick Maese, chicagotribune.com, "Capitals, and Washington, celebrate a victory decades in the making," 7 June 2018 Levante have clawed their way towards surviving the drop, but Atletico should ultimately have too much quality for Paco Lopez’s side. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid vs Levante Preview: Recent Form, Team News, Prediction & More," 14 Apr. 2018 One from Toby Alderweireld's blast in the first half, diving full length to his right and clawing the ball away, was exceptional. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Trophy Window Suddenly Shrinks for Belgium's Golden Generation," 10 July 2018 He and his wife, Nina, had scraped and scratched and clawed their way back. Robert King, Indianapolis Star, "Laid off from Rexnord, once-bitter worker settles into a 'new norm'," 9 Feb. 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

25 Sep 2018

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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