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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web But Mother’s Day never could quite reclaim its roots as a day of service and recognition of the sacrifices mothers make. Jennifer Randles, Time, "Too Many Moms Can't Afford Diapers for Their Kids. On Mother's Day, We Must Remember Their Need," 6 May 2021 So, if Leiter is potentially sliding, might Rocker reclaim the No. 1 spot? Evan Grant, Dallas News, "Rangers’ MLB draft watch: Is new No. 1 prospect Jack Leiter in a mid-season slump or something more significant?," 3 May 2021 The legendary rapper will reclaim her title with a new memoir, The Queen Bee. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Lil’ Kim Pens Memoir The Queen Bee, Reclaiming Her Title," 28 Apr. 2021 Alas, Intel’s newcomer does not reclaim bragging rights. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel Rocket Lake-S vs AMD Ryzen 5000: Which should you buy?," 31 Mar. 2021 The Beavers reclaim their season after a 1-4 start, while the Ducks suffer the first losing season of coach Mike Bellotti’s tenure. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers football history: The 123 meetings, game by game," 23 Nov. 2020 Make time and take up space to balance yourself, reclaim your power. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "7 De-Stressing Recipes You'll Need to Make It Through Election Week," 2 Nov. 2020 The longest bear- market recovery took 7,262 trading days to reclaim the previous high of Sept. 7, 1929. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "What Happens When Stocks Only Go Up," 30 Apr. 2021 Simeon’s on a quest to reclaim the cuisine for his fellow Hawaiians — to really capture the multicultural nuances of what people actually eat there. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "'Crying in H Mart' taught me the value of eating through grief," 26 Apr. 2021

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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Learn More about reclaim

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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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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