re·claim | \ ri-ˈklām \
reclaimed; reclaiming; reclaims

Definition of reclaim 

transitive verb

1a : to recall from wrong or improper conduct : reform

b : tame, subdue

2a : to rescue from an undesirable state also : to restore to a previous natural state reclaim mining sites

b : to make available for human use by changing natural conditions reclaim swampland

3 : to obtain from a waste product or by-product : recover reclaimed plastic

4a : to demand or obtain the return of

b : to regain possession of

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Other words from reclaim

reclaimable \ri-ˈklā-mə-bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for reclaim

rescue, deliver, redeem, ransom, reclaim, save mean to set free from confinement or danger. rescue implies freeing from imminent danger by prompt or vigorous action. rescued the crew of a sinking ship deliver implies release usually of a person from confinement, temptation, slavery, or suffering. delivered his people from bondage redeem implies releasing from bondage or penalties by giving what is demanded or necessary. job training designed to redeem school dropouts from chronic unemployment ransom specifically applies to buying out of captivity. tried to ransom the kidnap victim reclaim suggests a bringing back to a former state or condition of someone or something abandoned or debased. reclaimed long-abandoned farms save may replace any of the foregoing terms; it may further imply a preserving or maintaining for usefulness or continued existence. an operation that saved my life

Examples of reclaim in a Sentence

Sons and daughters are proudly reclaiming the traditions that their parents had forgotten. She reclaimed the title of world champion this year. You might be able to reclaim some of the money you contributed. Environmental groups have been reclaiming contaminated sites. Acres of land were reclaimed by conservationists. The factory reclaims fibers from textile wastes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The monumental works are in keeping with the Margiela aesthetic, using reclaimed concrete and marble statuary alongside common objects to create new works of art. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Before Its Menswear Show, Get a Sneak Peek of Maison Margiela’s New Art Installation," 21 June 2018 The four-bedroom main house has major cabin vibes with reclaimed wood features throughout. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Oprah's New Island Mansion Will Seriously Make Your Jaw Drop," 7 June 2018 Despite having three finalists fall short of winning titles, Marriotts Ridge reclaimed the County Cup by half a point over defending champions Centennial, 32 to 31.5. Tim Schwartz, Howard County Times, "Puram breaks through, Marriotts Ridge tennis wins Howard County Cup," 12 May 2018 Ronald Guzman's two-run single in the sixth reclaimed the lead for Texas and the bullpen again put together three shutout innings behind Mike Minor's start, including a five-pitch save for Keone Kela in the ninth. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers strike early for once and bullpen holds off Blue Jays | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 27 Apr. 2018 The next speaker of the House must reclaim congressional war powers as prescribed in Article I of the Constitution. Sophie Tatum, CNN, "Dem lawmakers renew calls for congressional authorization of Syria strikes," 13 Apr. 2018 After putting her career aside for a short time to support her family, Musk has reclaimed the spotlight. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "11 Facts About Model Maye Musk," 6 Mar. 2018 Goldman might easily reclaim its edge in the next quarter. The Economist, "Morgan Stanley’s unexciting model takes the prize on Wall Street," 25 Jan. 2018 Many wind up in shelters and never are reclaimed by their owners. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "Free pet microchips available in Sacramento County before Fourth of July," 19 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for reclaim

Middle English reclamen, from Anglo-French reclamer, from Latin reclamare to cry out, protest, from re- + clamare to cry out — more at claim

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Statistics for reclaim

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reclaim

The first known use of reclaim was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for reclaim



English Language Learners Definition of reclaim

: to get back (something that was lost or taken away)

: to make (land) available for use by changing its condition

: to get (a usable material) from materials that have been used before


re·claim | \ ri-ˈklām \
reclaimed; reclaiming

Kids Definition of reclaim

1 : to get back (something that was lost or taken away) The skater reclaimed her championship.

2 : to restore to an original state reclaim a swamp

3 : to obtain from a waste product or by-product The bottles are made from reclaimed plastic.


transitive verb
re·claim | \ ˌrē-ˈklām \

Legal Definition of reclaim 

1 : to make fit or available for human use reclaiming land that had been strip-mined

2a : to demand the return of by right

b : to regain possession of

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Comments on reclaim

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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