claw back

verb
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

His party appears to have clawed back some support over the summer, according to polls. Washington Post, "Germany’s far right is set to challenge Angela Merkel’s grip in upcoming elections," 30 Aug. 2019 Federal officials have also raised the prospect of attempting to claw back another $2.5-billion grant for the bullet train but have not taken action so far. Los Angeles Times, "California bullet train authority gets U.S. permission to handle its environmental reviews," 26 July 2019 On the flipside, during good times firms often opt to reward workers with office perks and one-off bonuses, rather than pay rises that cannot easily be clawed back during downturns. The Economist, "Prices for many goods do not move the way economists think they should," 8 Aug. 2019 In the Turanist imaginary, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Japan were all possible allies whose support could be used to claw back the greatness (and territory) that had slipped away after Hungary’s defeat. Jacob Mikanowski, Harper's magazine, "The Call of the Drums," 21 July 2019 The Giants took a 4-0 lead in the third inning and a 7-4 lead in the sixth, but the first-place Cardinals twice clawed back on the shoulders of Goldschmidt, who has tormented San Francisco throughout his nine-year career. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Kevin Pillar out-slugs Paul Goldschmidt, Giants take down Cardinals in wild finish," 4 Sep. 2019 The markets in the early afternoon had clawed back some of their steep losses from the previous day. Fox News, "Trump tells NH rallygoers 'we have a bunch of socialists or communists to beat' -- as Dem rivals gather nearby," 15 Aug. 2019 Despite Hayes’ struggles, the Dream clawed back from a 40-27 Fever lead. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Wheeler's late layup propels Fever over Atlanta despite poor offensive performance," 1 Aug. 2019 Milwaukee clawed back for four runs of their own in the first, starting with Grandal's leadoff home run to right. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 6, Reds 5: New-look lineup and bullpen deliver as Milwaukee snaps five-game skid," 22 June 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

Statistics for claw back

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for claw back

The first known use of claw back was in 1953

See more words from the same year

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

fear of the number 13

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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