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 Tim Stark of Wildlife in Need won't be allowed to declaw big cats, display cat cubs for the public or separate baby cubs prematurely from their mothers, a judge ordered Monday. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Judge orders Tim Stark to cease declawing cats, removing them from mothers," 4 Aug. 2020 Don't get your cat declawed—give them scratching posts and mats to scratch instead. Medea Giordano, Wired, "Best Pet Supplies and Tips for Newly Adopted Cats and Dogs," 4 June 2020 Michigan may become the second state in the country, after New York, to ban the practice of declawing cats. Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan could become second state to ban declawing of cats," 20 Feb. 2020 Foo Foo Kitty was declawed before the Jenness family adopted the feline. Lisa Maria Garza,, "Some pets at Central Florida companies have big jobs: ambassadors, greeters or just cuddlers," 20 Sep. 2019 Supporters of a ban include animal welfare advocates, who say declawing is cruel. Washington Post, "The Latest: Proposed cat declawing ban passes NY Legislature," 5 June 2019 Among the more important structural features of the package are a pledge to remake the Supreme Court to declaw its emergent anti-labor majority. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Warren proposes the largest expansion of worker rights ‘since the New Deal’," 3 Oct. 2019 With its allies declawed, America has now abandoned them altogether. The Economist, "Donald Trump gives Turkey the green light to invade northern Syria," 7 Oct. 2019 One cheetah is seen getting declawed; another is dying on-camera. CNN, "The ultra-rich are illegally buying cheetahs as pets and it's leading to their extinction," 28 Aug. 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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The first known use of declaw was in 1953

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Declaw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for declaw


How to pronounce declaw (audio)

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

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