de·​claw | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈklȯ How to pronounce declaw (audio) \
declawed; declawing; declaws

Definition of declaw

transitive verb

: to remove the claws of (an animal, such as a cat) surgically

Examples of declaw in a Sentence

We had our cats declawed.

Recent Examples on the Web

Bruce Many, Eckert Time for Colorado to ban cat declawing statewide On July 22, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to ban declawing of domestic cats in the entire state. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Cost of adding rail lines north not warranted; No on Referendum CC; Time for Colorado to ban cat declawing statewide (7/29/19)," 29 July 2019 The anti-declawing measure, which took effect immediately, makes exceptions only for necessary medical purposes. Mac Vanrenterghem, Detroit Free Press, "Declawing cats: New York just banned the practice. Should Michigan be next?," 25 July 2019 Lawmakers are weighing a ban on the practice of declawing cats. USA TODAY, "Titanic auction, Legos, mighty Mississippi: News from around our 50 states," 22 July 2019 Supported by many, the ban has also seen opposition from those who say the decision to declaw should be made by a vet New York is on its way to becoming the first state in the U.S. to ban cat owners from declawing their pets. Rachel Desantis,, "New York Could Become the First State to Ban Pet Owners from Declawing Their Cats," 4 June 2019 Cats may now be able to sleep even easier if a New York state ban on declawing is signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Madeline Fitzgerald, Time, "New York Poised to Become the First State to Ban Cat Declawing," 5 June 2019 Most tourists who enjoy these encounters don’t know that the adult tigers may be declawed, drugged, or both. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019 Adult tigers may be drugged or even declawed to make interaction safe. Kelli Bender,, "Neglectful Sanctuaries and Poached Animals: New Report Reveals the Dark Side of Wildlife Tourism," 7 June 2019 Animal activists claim declawing is a needlessly painful process, and the Humane Society recommends it only in the most dire circumstances, when the health of the cat is affected. Aj Willingham, CNN, "After bill passes, New York may become the first state to ban cat declawing," 4 June 2019

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

1953, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

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The first known use of declaw was in 1953

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More Definitions for declaw



English Language Learners Definition of declaw

: to permanently remove the claws of (a cat)
de·​claw | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈklȯ How to pronounce declaw (audio) \

Medical Definition of declaw

: to remove the claws of (a cat) usually with the nail matrix and all or part of the last bone of the toe

More from Merriam-Webster on declaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with declaw

Comments on declaw

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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