claw back

clawed back; clawing back; claws back

Definition of claw back

transitive verb

chiefly British
: to get back (something, such as money) by strenuous or forceful means (such as taxation)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from claw back

clawback \ ˈklȯ-​ˌbak How to pronounce clawback (audio) \ noun

Examples of claw back in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But come November, clawing back votes in the nation’s biggest battleground state will still be a daunting task. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, "Can Democrats Win Back Florida?," 16 Mar. 2020 The Dow climbed more than 500 points, or 2%, to 26,410, shortly after markets opened to claw back much of its 2.9% drop on Tuesday. CBS News, "Stock markets rally on Biden's Super Tuesday showing," 4 Mar. 2020 Woods did claw back a couple of birdies early on his second nine, but his scorecard was littered with errors, most of them on the greens. Eamon Lynch, Golfweek, "Lynch: Attention turns to Tiger Woods' plans before Masters after Genesis meltdown," 15 Feb. 2020 The first extra period was a tug-of-war that saw the Eagles gain a four-point edge before C. Milton Wright once again clawed back, with Jordan Stiemke knocking down a pair of free throws to square things at 77. Chris Jeter,, "Aberdeen boys basketball outlasts C. Milton Wright in double overtime," 11 Dec. 2019 As the Nuggets clawed back, eventually cutting the margin to 1 point with 2:23 remaining, Jokic was smothered by Davis’s length. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic admits to struggles in wake of Lakers loss: “I cannot make shots”," 4 Dec. 2019 Boca Raton jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first set before Vero Beach clawed back to take a 13-12 advantage. Gary Curreri,, "Deptula helps vault Boca Raton into 7A regional final," 29 Oct. 2019 That’s precisely what the Sun did to claw back ahead for good and win Game 4 on Tuesday night, keeping their championship hopes alive with a 90-86 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena and forcing a Game 5. Alexa Philippou,, "Connecticut Sun force a Game 5 after thrilling 90-86 win over Washington," 9 Oct. 2019 But the volunteers do more than claw back money (not that that's such a bad thing). Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Here are the top 6 complaints to IndyStar Call for Action. You may be surprised by some.," 1 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of claw back

1953, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about claw back

Time Traveler for claw back

Time Traveler

The first known use of claw back was in 1953

See more words from the same year

Statistics for claw back

Last Updated

24 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Claw back.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.

Comments on claw back

What made you want to look up claw back? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!