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
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 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

Hadi’s forces first reclaimed the eastern district of Khor Maksar, and then moved to the neighborhood of Crater in Aden, where the presidential palace is located, the officials said. Washington Post, "Yemeni government forces push into key port city of Aden," 31 Aug. 2019 Spring Woods reclaimed bragging rights from Northbrook in their annual rivalry showdown last year, winning 21-8. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Spring Branch ISD aims for return to football postseason," 26 Aug. 2019 Verlander also reclaimed his status as one of baseball’s best pitchers, lowering his ERA from 4.96 on July 1 to 3.82 at the time of the trade. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "How a Detroit Tigers trade for Alex Bregman may have changed rebuild," 20 Aug. 2019 In the years since the ordeal, Smart, now 29, has reclaimed her life as an inspirational speaker, author and advocate. Diana Pearl,, "How Jayme Closs, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard and Others Survived Headline-Making Abductions," 19 Aug. 2019 WarnerMedia reclaimed the rights to the beloved 1990s sitcom from Netflix earlier this year. Adam Epstein, Quartzy, "A cord-cutter’s guide to all the big new streaming services," 18 Aug. 2019 Can Seth Rollins reclaim his Universal title from Brock Lesnar? Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "SummerSlam 2019: Predictions, breakdowns of the WWE pay-per-view," 11 Aug. 2019 The aggressive pricing announcement comes as the video-streaming sector heats up, what with NBC Universal and HBO readying their own standalone products (and aggressively reclaiming content by way of corporate ownership along the way). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Disney’s new streaming bundle priced to compete with “standard” Netflix plan," 6 Aug. 2019 Ceiling beams, floors, and cabinets: reclaimed beechwood, Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber. Emily Henderson, House Beautiful, "80,000 Readers Helped Decorate Emily Henderson's House," 5 Aug. 2019

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

2 Sep 2019

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 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.


transitive verb
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reclaim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reclaim

Spanish Central: Translation of reclaim

Nglish: Translation of reclaim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reclaim for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reclaim

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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