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 But after a season of trying to reclaim some independence, Ben decides to make a selfless sacrifice there in the FBI building. Christian Holub,, "The Umbrella Academy stars break down emotional season 2 climax at FBI building," 1 Aug. 2020 The news came five weeks before the start of practice (Sept.7) and provides continuity for a team that will try to reclaim the top spot in the North Shore Conference after having its 18-year streak of league titles snapped in 2019. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Homestead football will use coordinators Matt Wolf and Drake Zortman as co-head coaches this season," 1 Aug. 2020 Tenants are already trying to use the means available to them to reclaim control of their buildings from negligent landlords. Francisco Pérez, The New Republic, "The End of Housing As We Know It," 31 July 2020 There is no choice but to reclaim the unchecked power these platforms wield. Noam Cohen, Wired, "For Big Tech, There's No Winning This Round," 31 July 2020 Documentaries are doing a bang-up job lately of helping women reclaim their stories. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "For too long, the story of the Go-Go’s was a cautionary tale. A new documentary turns it into a triumph.," 30 July 2020 But for some people, there's simply no job to reclaim. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, "$600 unemployment benefit ends in July. Economists not optimistic about what happens after," 7 July 2020 Finally, in a teaser released tonight after Sunday night's two-part season finale, it was revealed that Sean Bean will portray Wilford, the man who set Snowpiercer in motion and has now apparently returned to reclaim his locomotive. Clark Collis,, "Snowpiercer season 2 teaser finally reveals identity of actor playing Mr. Wilford," 13 July 2020 These days, some people are trying to reclaim that element of Wisconsin’s culture by returning to the taverns. Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bars and coronavirus don't mix. Will Wisconsin's drinking culture ever be the same?," 11 July 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

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 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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