• (British) IPA: /klɔː/
  • (America) IPA: /klɔ/
  • (cot-caught) IPA: /klɑ/

claw (plural claws)

  1. A curved, pointed horny nail on each digit of the foot of a mammal, reptile, or bird.
  2. A foot equipped with such.
  3. The pincer (chela) of a crustacean or other arthropod.
  4. A mechanical device resembling a claw, used for gripping or lifting.
  5. (botany) A slender appendage or process, formed like a claw, such as the base of petals of the pink.
  6. (juggling) The act of catching a ball overhand.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: ла́па
  • Spanish: zarpa
Translations Translations Verb

claw (claws, present participle clawing; past and past participle clawed)

  1. To scratch or to tear at.
    • Using her hands like windshield wipers, she tried to flick snow away from her mouth. When she clawed at her chest and neck, the crumbs maddeningly slid back onto her face. She grew claustrophobic.
  2. To use the claws to seize, to grip.
  3. To use the claws to climb.
  4. (juggling) To perform a claw#Noun|claw catch.
  5. To move with one's fingertips.
  6. (obsolete) To relieve uneasy feeling, such as an itch, by scratching; hence, to humor or flatter, to court someone.
    • 1599, Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, Act 1 Scene 3
      I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drowsy, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.
    • Rich men they claw, soothe up, and flatter; the poor they contemn and despise.
  7. (obsolete) To rail at; to scold.
    • In the aforesaid preamble, the king fairly claweth the great monasteries, wherein, saith he, religion, thanks be to God, is right well kept and observed; though he claweth them soon after in another acceptation.
  8. (figurative, transitive, dated) To flatter; to fawn on (a person).
Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: aggrapparsi

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