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

And monster crustaceans do indeed lurk in the interior: crabs 3-feet broad, with claws as powerful as the jaws of an alligator. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Trouble in paradise, forgotten vets, remembering Tiananmen," 27 June 2019 But if you are only given x and z, finding y — and hence the claw — is impossible, even for a quantum computer. Quanta Magazine, "How to Turn a Quantum Computer Into the Ultimate Randomness Generator," 19 June 2019 Within a few years, Yugoslavia broke apart into multiple warring factions and the claw plunged into its people. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: Despite fine dancing, ‘Heaven’ is a bleak Bosnian odyssey," 9 June 2019 That same year Chavkin acquired a tattoo of an armadillo with its front claws removed. Barbara Isenberg, latimes.com, "'Hadestown' director Rachel Chavkin's tattoos: an annotated guide," 5 June 2019 Whenever Kevin Durant comes back and whether Klay Thompson plays in Game 3 or not, the Raptors aren’t about to be shaken down to their claws. Tom Fitzgerald, SFChronicle.com, "Raptors aren’t dreading Kevin Durant’s return, whenever it happens," 4 June 2019 Although Hollywood tends to focus on their teeth, grizzlies have prehensile lips that are perfect for stripping berries off branches, and their claws are ideal for digging up roots and turning over rocks to look for insects. Brent Crane, Discover Magazine, "Grizzly Bears Might Return to California. Is the State Ready?," 12 Mar. 2019 Off Rhode Island, newly booming fisheries include not just black sea bass but also squid and Jonah crab, an edible species with big, dark-brown claws. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Climate Change Drives Fish Into New Waters, Remaking an Industry," 22 Dec. 2018 In the short video, Ross is wearing the classic blue and yellow suit of the iconic X-Men character, complete with silver claws and fangs, naturally. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Ross Butler and Noah Centineo Dress as Wolverine and Gaston for Halloween 2018," 27 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not surprisingly, no one doomed to the undercard events clawed their way out of the basement. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "20 for 2020: Dual Democratic debates in Miami could be defining or disastrous for presidential hopefuls," 24 June 2019 With the help of an interception, La Porte would claw within the final score but no closer. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial topples Furr, La Porte in 7-on-7 action," 17 June 2019 Over the last few decades, mathematicians have clawed their way toward proving Erdős and Szemerédi’s threshold. Quanta Magazine, "How a Strange Grid Reveals Hidden Connections Between Simple Numbers," 6 Feb. 2019 That’s because both the Bronco 12s and Pinto 8s had to scratch and claw just to get themselves in the driver’s seat to the title. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Three Deer Park teams clinch berths to Directors Tournament title games on Father’s Day," 15 June 2019 Just as the ball seemed to be crossing the line, Endler curled her fingers around it, and clawed it away. New York Times, "Chile Goalkeeper Equal to the Task, if Not to the Team," 16 June 2019 New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is clawing its way out of a looming fiscal crisis by raising fares, securing new sources of revenue and reorganizing operations. Paul Berger, WSJ, "The MTA Is Raising Revenues and Cutting Costs. Now, Workers Want a Raise," 1 May 2019 Along with the folding phones and hulking battery monsters that were released during and around the annual Mobile World Congress, an age-old mobile phone trend is clawing its way back out of the grave for what feels like the hundredth time. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The Keyboard Phone Just Will Not Die," 28 Feb. 2019 So how did an astral voyager manage to claw his way to the top of a cutthroat business? Alex Williams, New York Times, "Woody Harrelson, Rogue Number One," 26 May 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

3 Jul 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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