claw

noun, often attributive
\ ˈklȯ How to pronounce claw (audio) \

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 How to pronounce clawed (audio) \ adjective
clawlike \ ˈklȯ-​ˌlīk How to pronounce clawlike (audio) \ 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 Jaguar’s engineering of the F-Pace SVR is all claws, fangs and growl in a velvet coat. San Diego Union-Tribune, "550-hp Jaguar F-Pace SVR: all claws, fangs and growl in a velvet coat," 15 Sep. 2019 The last weekend in October is when crab lovers from all over descend on Tin City, Bayfront and the Port of Naples to crack their way through stone crab claws, listen to live music and have a blast at the area’s biggest block party. Holly V. Kapherr, USA TODAY, "Fall for Paradise Coast: 6 things to add to your autumn itinerary this season," 13 Aug. 2019 Pangolin scales are made of nothing more than keratin, a protein that makes up fingernails, hair, horns, claws, and hooves. National Geographic, "Pangolin scales are not a party drug, say researchers," 9 Aug. 2019 The nearby Weber House, built in 1905 on East Creek Street, is sunny and bright with white walls, white-linen bed and even a claw-foot tub. Barbara Noe Kennedy, Los Angeles Times, "In Fredericksburg, Texas, staying in tiny houses brings big pleasures," 14 Sep. 2019 Handfuls of shrimp, clams, mussels, crab claws, sweet bay oysters and half of a Maine lobster go into the kettle. Michael Hiller, Los Angeles Times, "The biggest draw at Vegas oyster bars? It’s not the oysters. It’s the pan roasts," 10 Sep. 2019 In addition to cannabis, Olivia is also taking several other herbal medicines — John lists uña de gato (cat's claw), sangre de drago, camu camu, and graviola, to name a few. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Olivia Newton John Claims Cannabis Has "Helped Me Greatly" With Cancer Battle," 5 Sep. 2019 The enormous balloon rodent loomed large on the streets of New York and across the country, with its buckteeth, menacing claws and crimson eyes drawing attention to the grievances of union protesters who had inflated it. Michael Gold, New York Times, "Scabby, the Giant Inflatable Union Protest Rat, Faces Extermination," 31 July 2019 The retailer known for selling super-sized products like giant lobster claws and 27-pound tubs of macaroni and cheese has updated its Apple and Android apps to allow members a digital version of the card. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Costco digital membership cards can be used at wholesale clubs – but not for gas," 26 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nicole and Charlie spar and claw at each other, drawing figurative blood if not the real kind. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story Understands That No One Outside a Marriage Can Know the Truth of It," 29 Aug. 2019 On the tour, Tester, the amateur, and his seasoned colleagues run up on stage and take selfies with the fans, who claw at their frosted hair. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "“Jawline,” Reviewed: A Chilling Look at the Making of a Teen Influencer," 27 Aug. 2019 That Smith—who, again, had never taken a professional at-bat before—got the green light on 3–1 and ripped a line drive into right, at which point Pivetta probably did crouch down and start clawing at the dirt with his fingers? 3. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "MLB Should Threaten Tanking Teams With Relegation," 13 Aug. 2019 On the same album, there are a couple of tracks with chants where the vocals just claw at my soul. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Fender Ten 5 review: all about that treble," 9 July 2019 If that doesn’t work, claw at its eyes and gill openings, two sensitive areas. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "Shark attacks: After recent bites, your questions answered," 17 June 2019 Paychecks bounced or were clawed out of miners’ accounts. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "In Trump country, a group of coal miners rebel over lost jobs, missed paychecks," 31 Aug. 2019 The prospect of clawing their way out of this hole seemed ever less likely. Brian Goldstone, The New Republic, "The New American Homeless," 21 Aug. 2019 Most of the characters claw their way out of the rut, though not without sacrifice. Kelly Connolly, The Atlantic, "GLOW Embraces the Untidy Ending," 15 Aug. 2019

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

23 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce claw (audio)

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 How to pronounce claw (audio) \

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 How to pronounce claw (audio) \

Medical Definition of claw

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

Other Words from claw

clawed \ ˈklȯd How to pronounce clawed (audio) \ 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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