re·​claim | \ ri-ˈklām How to pronounce reclaim (audio) \
reclaimed; reclaiming; reclaims

Definition of reclaim

transitive verb

1a : to recall from wrong or improper conduct : reform
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 How to pronounce reclaimable (audio) \ 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 To understand how singularly destructive surface mining has been, consider how quickly and vigorously trees have reclaimed abandoned farmland throughout the eastern United States. Washington Post, "Kentucky was devastated for decades by mountaintop removal. Now scientists have figured out a way to undo the damage — one tree at a time.," 13 Feb. 2020 In the Canal Belt proper, where cheek-by-jowl waterfront mansions give way to quaint row houses, the late-20th-century trend of converting residences into offices is now in reverse, as buyers reclaim historic spaces for high-end homes. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Luxury Home Buyers Are Revamping Amsterdam’s Historic Housing Stock," 5 Feb. 2020 Warren here undersells the problem, which is this: Every micron of dirt the U.S. leaves unoccupied in Afghanistan is quickly reclaimed by the Taliban. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "All Presidents Are Doves before They’re Elected," 28 Jan. 2020 Inspired by French colonial-style architecture, the open-floor plan mansion features soaring vaulted ceilings and reclaimed brick accents. Ebony Day, azcentral, "Head of CorePower Yoga fitness chain purchases Scottsdale estate for $5.4M," 27 Jan. 2020 Missouri retook the lead with 14:01 to play, but the Aggies reclaimed the advantage on the scoreboard on the following possession and lead the rest of the night. Alex Miller, Dallas News, "Second-half outburst pushes Texas A&M past Missouri, 66-64," 21 Jan. 2020 Shi After a young Chinese student is kidnapped on a university campus, her family travels to the US for the first time, first hoping to unravel the mystery of her disappearance, and then to seek justice, find closure and reclaim their daughter. Joey Nolfi,, "King of Staten Island," 15 Jan. 2020 Thames bounced back last season, reclaiming playing time from the slumping Aguilar and batting .247 with 25 homers, 61 RBI and .851 OPS in 149 games. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Brewers first baseman Eric Thames has signed a free-agent deal with Washington Nationals," 6 Jan. 2020 Vocal contingents of both fan factions are critical of The Rise of Skywalker’s resolution: Kylo turns back to good, reclaims the name Ben Solo, helps Rey kill Emperor Palpatine, kisses Rey, and then immediately dies. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Imagining a Better End to The Rise of Skywalker," 4 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for reclaim

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for reclaim

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for reclaim


How to pronounce reclaim (audio)

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 How to pronounce reclaim (audio) \
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.
re·​claim | \ ˌrē-ˈklām How to pronounce reclaim (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on reclaim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reclaim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reclaim

Spanish Central: Translation of reclaim

Nglish: Translation of reclaim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reclaim for Arabic Speakers

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