The word claw is all about grabbing. It could be a lobster claw or even an ambitious worker clawing his way up the corporate ladder.

As a noun, a claw is the pointy finger-like grabbers that birds, insects, and some lizards and mammals have. Machines can have claws too, and maybe you’ve seen the game at an arcade where you make a metal claw pick up a toy. Claw can be a verb as well, meaning to grab, scratch, or pull in a painful and jolting way. Should someone bury you up to your neck in a hole, you’ll have to claw your way out. And you can accidentally claw your date if you grab her arm during a scary movie.

Definitions of claw

n sharp curved horny process on the toe of a bird or some mammals or reptiles

bear claw
claw of a bear; often used in jewelry
a sharp hooked claw especially on a bird of prey
Type of:
horny structure, unguis
any rigid body structure composed primarily of keratin

n a bird's foot

Type of:
bird's foot
the foot of a bird

n a grasping structure on the limb of a crustacean or other arthropods

chela, nipper, pincer
Type of:
appendage, extremity, member
an external body part that projects from the body

n a mechanical device that is curved or bent to suspend or hold or pull something

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anchor, ground tackle
a mechanical device that prevents a vessel from moving
an S-shaped hook to suspend a pot over a fire
one of a series of hooks used to hold cloth on a tenter
grapnel, grapnel anchor
a light anchor for small boats
mooring anchor
an anchor used to hold a mooring buoy or a channel marker in place
mushroom anchor
an anchor used for semipermanent moorings; has a bowl-shaped head that will dig in however it falls
sheet anchor, waist anchor
spare anchor for use in emergency
an adjustable pothook set in a fireplace
Type of:
mechanical device
mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles

v scratch, scrape, pull, or dig with claws or nails

claw with the nails
Type of:
scrape, scratch, scratch up
cut the surface of; wear away the surface of

v attack as if with claws

“The politician clawed his rival”
Type of:
assail, assault, attack, lash out, round, snipe
attack in speech or writing

v move as if by clawing, seizing, or digging

“They clawed their way to the top of the mountain”
Type of:
make, work
proceed along a path

v clutch as if in panic

“She clawed the doorknob”
Type of:
clutch, prehend, seize
take hold of; grab

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