claw·​ham·​mer | \ ˈklȯ-ˌha-mər How to pronounce clawhammer (audio) \

Definition of clawhammer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a style of banjo playing using the thumb and one or more fingers picking or strumming in a downward direction

claw hammer


Definition of claw hammer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a hammer with one end of the head forked for pulling out nails
2 : tailcoat

Examples of clawhammer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Four inmates now charged with first-degree murder used weapons including a claw hammer, a ball-peen hammer and half a pair of scissors, medical examiners said. Fox News, "Top leaders at prison where 4 died demoted, took pay cuts," 27 Sep. 2018 Minneapolis Police find Jeffrey Trail, a friend of Cunanan, beaten to death with a claw hammer. Miami Herald Archives, miamiherald, "Versace wasn't the only victim. A timeline of Andrew Cunanan's killing spree," 14 July 2017 Trail, a 28-year-old propane salesman, was found beaten to death with a claw hammer and rolled up in a rug that was stuffed in the closet of architect David Madson's apartment on April 27, 1997. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "Who is Andrew Cunanan, the Man Who Murdered Gianni Versace?," 17 Jan. 2018 There’s no dispute that David Noel McGee Jr. beat his mother to death with a claw hammer in their Escondido apartment last year. Teri Figueroa,, "Did son kill mom with hammer in 'fog of Benadryl' after at least 80 allergy pills?," 10 May 2018 According to Vulgar Favors, Trail's head, face, and upper torso sustained 27 blows from a claw hammer. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Really Happened When Andrew Cunanan Murdered Jeff Trail and David Madson," 14 Feb. 2018 The barefoot Brisker, 6-5, 210-pounds, clad only in a pair of overalls, landed with a thump, making his concept of a peace-making gesture by swinging a claw hammer menacingly. Bill Livingston,, "Toledo Rockets shoot for the stars again in MAC Tournament: Bill Livingston," 9 Mar. 2018 Jeffrey Trail was found on April 29, 1997, beaten to death with a claw hammer, and rolled into a carpet on David Madson's floor. Leah Silverman, Town & Country, "Who Were Jeffrey Trail And David Madson, Andrew Cunanan's First Victims?," 6 Feb. 2018 Cunanan flew to Minnesota, killed Trail with a claw hammer inside Madson’s airy loft, and then shot and killed Madson four days later on the banks of East Rush Lake, an hour outside town—perhaps out of jealousy or despair. Rachel Syme, New Republic, "FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” examines a lethal delusion.," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clawhammer.' 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 clawhammer


1964, in the meaning defined above


circa 1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for clawhammer

The first known use of clawhammer was circa 1769

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More Definitions for clawhammer

claw hammer


English Language Learners Definition of claw hammer

: a hammer with a head that is curved and partially split in the back so that it can be used for pulling out nails

More from Merriam-Webster on clawhammer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clawhammer

Comments on clawhammer

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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