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 claw (audio) \ adjective
clawlike \ ˈklȯ-​ˌlīk How to pronounce claw (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 The Conestoga Wagon Company has also expanded its offerings to include shower houses and luxury tents complete with claw-foot tubs and full wooden vanities. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, "Travel Across 25 U.S. States and Stay in a Modern-day Oregon Trail-style Covered Wagon," 26 Mar. 2021 The problem is that Democrats had to scrap and claw to get these checks out, and also had to lower the threshold of eligibility to get all 50 Senate Democrats on board. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Is another check coming after your $1,400 stimulus check? Here’s what you need to know," 18 Mar. 2021 San Antonio doesn’t have Donald Trump to push around — and claw — anymore. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "A battered Trump takes refuge in San Antonio wax museum's storage, awaiting return to the limelight," 17 Mar. 2021 Canine carers offer claw-trims and let beloved pets frolic outdoors. The Economist, "In Mexico, nurseries are shut but doggy day care is open," 13 Mar. 2021 But this Dineobellator wasn’t so fortunate with an injury to its hand claw. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Feathered Carnivorous Dinosaur Found in New Mexico," 26 Mar. 2020 At just under 11 square feet, the bathroom was far too small for anything but a simple shower, and claw-foot tubs are not common in the Scandinavian country. New York Times, "Extreme D.I.Y. for Home Decor," 26 Feb. 2021 There’s an edge of savagery in the illustrations that evokes the redness of tooth and claw. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: One Famous Fox," 18 Dec. 2020 The ensuing altercation caused Plath to report in her journal that the fight left her with a strained thumb and Hughes with claw marks on his cheeks. Washington Post, "Heather Clark’s ‘Red Comet’ is an exhaustively researched, often brilliant biography of Sylvia Plath," 28 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Mavs are still trying to claw their way out of the play-in round. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "Mavs failed to make splash at the trade deadline, but still found a way to get what they needed," 25 Mar. 2021 American political leaders have learned a few things in the last 12 years, since the nation last tried to claw its way out of an economic hole. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Move Over, Nerds. It’s the Politicians’ Economy Now.," 9 Mar. 2021 Despite trailing by double digits at halftime, Auburn battled for much of the second half and tried to claw its way back into the game. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Auburn commits season-high 23 turnovers, suffers season sweep at hands of rival Alabama," 3 Mar. 2021 The state has to distribute 65% of federal rental funds by Sept. 30 or the federal government can claw it back. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, "Kresge, credit union offer rent assistance as Detroit nonprofit waits for federal aid," 3 Mar. 2021 This will warn you that if you are evicted the landlord gets to claw that discount back from you. The Salt Lake Tribune, "If you’re a renter in Utah, here are the land mines you need to look out for in the lease agreement," 3 Mar. 2021 Despite a Sabonis banked-in deep shot with 25 seconds to go to close within one possession, the Pacers couldn’t muster enough luck to claw themselves back out a final time, ending on the wrong end of a 17-9 scoring burst from the Knicks to close. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Pacers drop another close game late to Knicks, 110-107," 28 Feb. 2021 The Broadway star Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) and her best frenemy, the best-selling author Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn), claw their way toward the next implant or brow lift. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History," 22 Feb. 2021 Texas wasted no time jumping out to an early 22–11 lead before only allowing the Mountaineers to claw within a possession three times in the first half. Stephen Wagner, Dallas News, "No. 12 Texas falls to No. 13 West Virginia in pivotal Big 12 contest," 20 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for claw

Time Traveler

The first known use of claw was before the 12th century

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Statistics for claw

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Claw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/claw. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for claw

claw

noun

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 claw (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on claw

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