claw

noun, often attributive
\ˈklȯ \

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 \ adjective
clawlike \-​ˌlīk \ 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

Ever the Marvel fan, Mikel-Stites pushed for Dazzler, who has sonoluminescent powers (think the sonic shock wave produced by the powerful snap of a mantis shrimp's claw, writ large). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Insect-inspired microfluidics could help Ant-Man and the Wasp breathe," 18 Nov. 2018 The other new ride is the Alien Swirling Saucers, which is themed after the little three-eyed, green alien toys from the claw machine at Pizza Planet. Richard Tribou, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney releases aerial drone footage of Toy Story Land," 28 June 2018 The digital photo booth will give the sense of being inside a claw machine game, and there will be a Buzz Lightyear box that people can step into for photo opportunities, according to Christopher Duran, with BoxLunch. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Toy Story Land mall tour to make stop at Orland Square in Orland Park," 15 June 2018 That includes animal parts like ivory in any form, lion claws, tiger skins, and rhino horns. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Tusks, Horns, and Claws: The Fight to Dismantle the Facebook Animal Parts Bazaar," 5 June 2018 The star of the menu, though, is the monster Bloody Mary—it's topped with a hush puppy, lobster claw, king crab leg, Old Bay spiced shrimp, and a pickle. Stephanie Burt, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Best Restaurants in Charleston," 2 May 2018 After 11 to 12 months gestating, sloths enter this world with their eyes open, all their teeth intact, and their claws fully grown. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Baby Sloth Born at Zoo Atlanta," 8 Nov. 2018 Gill, also a licensed medical marijuana caregiver in the state of Maine, claims Roscoe was much calmer and less aggressive for the subsequent three weeks, and didn’t try to attack the other lobsters in his tank even though his claws were unbound. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Maine officials say getting lobsters stoned with marijuana before killing them is illegal," 23 Sep. 2018 Because landing on the right icon while in motion is like securing a prize in the claw game. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Plug-in Cadillacs evolve with CT6 sedan," 27 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Just stepping foot in the paddock, the owner and health investigators were inundated with thirsty ticks that instantly began clawing up their pant legs. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US invaded by savage tick that sucks animals dry, spawns without mating," 8 Aug. 2018 Animals that are scared have been known to jump, dig, chew or claw their way out of holding areas. Rene Lynch, latimes.com, "Why you need to adopt or foster this Fourth of July," 29 June 2018 Another day the Jungfraujoch Cogwheel train claws its way to the top of 13,371-foot Jungfraujoch, which is the highest railway station in Europe. Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "Scaling the Swiss Alps on trains and trams, ranking road-trip friendly states and more," 27 June 2018 Phillips is being treated for rabies exposure and recovering from a broken finger and bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs. Washington Post, "Crash after high-speed chase kills at least five," 18 June 2018 Jaguars are solitary animals that define their territories by marking them with waste or by clawing trees. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "These Are the First Jaguars Born in This Argentinian Wetland in Over a Century," 11 June 2018 What this is about: This is a young team clawing to find form with lots and lots of new faces. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres needed to send message to Rockies — and did," 11 Apr. 2018 The sow clawed at his eye, leaving a bloody gash across the bridge of his nose. Matt Volz, The Seattle Times, "Grizzly attacks hunter in mountains north of Yellowstone," 15 Oct. 2018 Having clawed up the interiors, the bear eventually slid out a window. Fox News, "As wildlife abounds, minivan, muffin mix bear the brunt," 18 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

4 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of claw 

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

Other Words from claw

clawed \ˈklȯd \ 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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