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

Despite the use of reputable roasters like Intelligentsia and Equator, the draw here is the claw, not the crema. WSJ, "Robot Restaurants: The Good Versus the Gimmicks," 3 Oct. 2018 Hadid has also sported the tube dress and the unforgettable claw clip. Vogue, "Bella Hadid Takes Late ’90s Style to Dizzy New Heights," 5 Apr. 2019 Swartz highlighted Hasbro’s retractable plastic claws for Marvel’s Black Panther, an item featured on this year’s list. Philip Marcelo, The Seattle Times, "The “worst toys” for the holidays, according to safety group," 13 Nov. 2018 There is mention of the level of difficulty of the Delvaux claw machine, for which the grabbable plastic balls are filled with tiny Delvaux purses. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "Natalia Vodianova Puts the Fabulous in Her Fabulous Fund Fair With Vuitton, Dior, and Stella McCartney Goodies Up for Grabs," 20 Feb. 2019 At the reception, wedding guests could test their luck at one of two Skee-Ball machines or a claw machine filled with stuffed toy bears, a lighthearted reference to two of the couple’s favorite games. New York Times, "‘Mayor Pete’ Gets Married, Then Takes His Husband to a Pride Party," 18 June 2018 As pointed out by Harper's Bazaar, Bella embraced the claw clip, and was spotted wearing a large version of the hair accessory to the US Open. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid Wore a '90s-Inspired Hair Claw Clip," 6 Sep. 2018 But actress Heather Graham describes her claw-foot tub as a sacred space where creativity emerges. Neal J. Leitereg And Lauren Beale, latimes.com, "Hot Property: Migration patterns," 17 Mar. 2018 Then the concrete beams will be demolished with a crab-claw-shape tool. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s big demolition spectacle: How crews plan to pulverize the Alaskan Way Viaduct," 5 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The puck drops at 3 p.m. Losing the first two games of the series, Schultz said the team had to claw its way back into contention. Charlie Hatch, Cincinnati.com, "Cyclones lose 2-1 to Komets, trail 3-1 in ECHL divisional semis," 21 Apr. 2018 On the flip side, a less tractable cat (say, one who growls or hisses when frightened) may scratch and claw her way out of your lap to avoid the procedure. Dr. Rob Sharp, Country Living, "Can I Cut My Cat's Nails at Home?," 10 Mar. 2010 Money managers and mutual funds were big buyers the following week, as the market clawed its way back. Justin Scheck, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Pumps Up Stock Market After Bad News, Including Khashoggi Murder," 13 Dec. 2018 Larson had 18 carries for 125 yards and Massena added 40 yards and a score on 10 carries to help the Panthers claw their way back into the game. David Krueger, The Seattle Times, "Snohomish turns it up to ‘Panther level’ to upset No. 6 Squalicum for WesCo 3A title," 26 Oct. 2018 Back then, the world delighted in seeing famous women have it all, lose it all, and claw their way back to the top. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Lady Gaga's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Performance Was a Warning Pop Culture Needed," 17 Aug. 2018 Political discourse increasingly resembles a live-action YouTube comment section; to claw our way back toward stability, niceness seems like a crucial starting point. Jamil Zaki, Washington Post, "Politeness can sometimes hurt more than it helps," 12 Mar. 2018 Each card equals another set of parents, their lives clawed apart by the opioid epidemic. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019 So dockless bikes and, later, electric scooters rushed in to fill the void, securing millions if not billions in financing while clawing for market share. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained," 7 Sep. 2018

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

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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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