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 The goal, coming with 13:20 to play, gave the Eagles a 3-2 win over the visiting Dons to reclaim first place in the league standings. Glenn Graham,, 15 Oct. 2021 In an ironic turn of events, the Department of Justice used Bitcoin’s public ledger to track and reclaim nearly half of the ransom, but by then the amount recovered was just a fraction of the overall damage done. Kayvan Alikhani, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 And after Brady responded with a 15-play, 68-yard march — albeit one that again petered out inside the Patriots’ 10-yard line and resulted in a 27-yard Succop field goal — Jones took his team 66 yards to reclaim the lead., 4 Oct. 2021 To reclaim its historic place at the industry summit, CEO Källenius wants to free Mercedes from the fetters of a centralized management structure that includes ties to his group’s commercial vehicles business. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 1 Oct. 2021 Nelson says that seeing Black Panther, and working on his own game, forced him to confront his own social conditioning and reclaim his own ability to care about, frankly, himself. Junae Benne, Wired, 30 Sep. 2021 Where Is My Land, dedicated to helping other Black families with similar stories reclaim what once belonged to them. NBC News, 30 Sep. 2021 Dallas is also on pace to reclaim the NFC East crown coming off a dominant Monday night win. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 28 Sep. 2021 The series—inspired by the book of the same name by Lawrence Otis Graham—revolves around a single mother who sets out to reclaim her family's name before discovering a dark secret about her mother's past. Paulina Jayne Isaac, Glamour, 28 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for reclaim

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reclaim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 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

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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