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

Cats are often declawed in an effort to prevent them from scratching. Madeline Fitzgerald, Time, "New York Poised to Become the First State to Ban Cat Declawing," 5 June 2019 Unlike human nails, a cat's claws are attached to bone, so declawing a feline requires a veterinarian to slice through tendon and nerves to remove the last segment of bone in a cat's toes. Fox News, "New York passes bill outlawing cat declawing, prompting pro-life outcry on state's liberal abortion practices," 5 June 2019 Under the bill, people who violate the ban on declawing a cat could face fines of $1,000. NBC News, "New York could become first state to ban cat declawing," 4 June 2019 When the black bear was a year old, he was defanged and declawed, his mouth altered into a gummy mash of pink gums and tongue. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Am I Not Your Animal" by Matt Jones," 2 June 2018 Johnson was part of the Trump transition team that studied the CFPB and, according to several sources, had begun working to declaw it before the president took office. Devin Leonard,, "Mick Mulvaney Is Having a Blast Running the Agency He Detests," 25 May 2018 The bobcat weighs 14 pounds and has been declawed on all four paws. Howard Ludwig, Daily Southtown, "Bobcat found living with convicted felon in Orland Park finds new home at Minnesota wildcat sanctuary," 30 Mar. 2018 More: Unmasked, not declawed: How a Jerry Tipton parody Twitter account took aim at Louisville Winchell then hit two more free throws, give the Highlanders a 51-47 lead with 3:10 left and No. Kenzie Winstead, The Courier-Journal, "Floyd Central boys basketball holds on for win over rival Jeffersonville," 16 Jan. 2018 Already neutered (and declawed), the now-famous feline was a steal at the $20 adoption fee. Saryn Chorney,, "Fat Cat ‘Mr. Handsome’ Is Off the Market! 31-lb. Shelter Cat Who Became Overnight Internet Sensation Gets Adopted," 1 Aug. 2017

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

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for declaw

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

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having a desire to acquire more things

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