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

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 While there are catfights aplenty, most come off as perfunctory and declawed. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 20 Mar. 2024 Those in possession of exotic animals often attempt to change the animal, using tactics such as confining them to a small space, chaining them up, declawing and removing teeth, according to Born Free USA. Evan Moore, Charlotte Observer, 6 Feb. 2024 The warmth of the family melodrama that powers the internal core of the narrative and provides the impetus to push Monk forward with the fake book tends to declaw the social commentary. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 16 Dec. 2023 Some proponents of declawing say the opposite is true and cats that damage furniture or scratch children are more likely to end up in shelters. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2023 Bills to ban declawing have been introduced in Michigan before, most recently in 2020, but have not been made into law. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2023 There are two common arguments made for allowing cats to be declawed. Hank Sanders, Chicago Tribune, 1 May 2023 The debate around declawing is long-running and fierce. Hank Sanders, Chicago Tribune, 1 May 2023 Bonus: His front claws are declawed. The Republic, The Arizona Republic, 24 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'declaw.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of declaw was in 1953

Dictionary Entries Near declaw

Cite this Entry

“Declaw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
de·​claw (ˌ)dē-ˈklȯ How to pronounce declaw (audio)
: to remove the claws of (a cat) usually with the nail matrix and all or part of the last bone of the toe
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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