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

Other Words from reclaim

reclaimable \ ri-​ˈklā-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce reclaim (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Really, the movement has transformed into a safe space for women to redefine and reclaim beauty, style, and joy on their own terms, sans the patriarchal male gaze. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 3 Aug. 2022 But Agbaji, Cleveland’s lottery pick who had an off shooting night, helped Cleveland reclaim the lead with a pair of clutch free throws. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 16 July 2022 The Show Coyotes add European talent on 2nd day of NHL Draft On July 2, the Rattlers beat the Northern Arizona Wranglers, 40-28, to reclaim the Western Conference lead. Chloe Peterson, The Arizona Republic, 8 July 2022 The Storm used an 8-0 run of their own in the third quarter that was capped off by a three-pointer from Breanna Stewart to reclaim their lead, 46-45. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 17 June 2022 But Michigan scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to reclaim the lead. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, 30 May 2022 Although the Bulls briefly pulled back within 10 points in the third quarter, the Bucks punched back just as quickly with a 14-3 run to reclaim a 21-point lead by the end of the quarter. Julia Poe,, 23 Mar. 2022 Kentucky stormed back down the court, where Kellan Grady sunk a 3-point jumper to reclaim the lead. Laine Higgins And Rachel Bachman, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 The Blazers put together another 11-2 run to reclaim the lead and expanded it as many as eight points with 7:30 left in the contest. Evan Dudley, al, 26 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for reclaim


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

More from Merriam-Webster on reclaim

Nglish: Translation of reclaim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reclaim for Arabic Speakers


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