claw back


Definition of claw back

transitive verb

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

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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

A few days after the OptionSellers news broke, the Journal reported that the two lawyers entrusted with recovering the $17.5 billion Bernie Madoff stole from his investors have clawed back an astonishing 75%. Gregg Opelka, WSJ, "A Hedge-Fund Tragedy in One Act," 5 Dec. 2018 But some materials scientists may have figured out a way to boost concentrated solar's efficiency considerably, clawing back some of photovoltaics' advantage. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New material could up efficiency of concentrated solar power," 19 Oct. 2018 James and Curry spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday’s Game 3 in Cleveland, when the Cavs will try to claw back from a 2-0 deficit in the seven-game series. Katie Mcinerney,, "LeBron James and Steph Curry agree: NBA champs aren't headed to the White House," 5 June 2018 The ground troops were there to advise, equip and assist Iraq’s military during the grueling three year fight to claw back the one-third of Iraqi territory that the Islamic State had claimed. Washington Post, "U.S. shuts down ground forces office in Iraq, as combat against Islamic State ends," 1 May 2018 Countries giving preferential tax deals to big companies — particularly in the tech sector — have been a European Commission priority since 2014, and Vestager ruled in 2016 that Ireland would have to claw back €13 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The fake video era of US politics has arrived on Twitter," 9 Nov. 2018 With a symphony of terrible noises issuing from the undercarriage, the QX60 claws back down to the pavement, dented but drivable, pending the tire change. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "It's Not Just Human Drivers—Machines Have Blind Spots, Too," 21 Sep. 2018 The Dow industrials had clawed back a nearly 800-point decline Thursday to end the day only slightly lower after a report from The Wall Street Journal eased worries about how fast the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates. Corrie Driebusch And Riva Gold, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks End Week With a Slide," 7 Dec. 2018 Merrill in 2018 began clawing back pay from advisers who didn’t meet minimum growth targets. Lisa Beilfuss, WSJ, "Merrill Lynch Cuts Broker Pay," 3 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of claw back

1953, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

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The first known use of claw back was in 1953

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to boil down or concentrate

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