verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to make or file a claim: to claim for additional compensation.



    lay claim to, to declare oneself entitled to: I have never laid claim to being an expert in tax laws.

Origin of claim

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English claimen < Anglo-French, Old French claimer < Latin clāmāre to cry out; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French cla(i)me, noun derivative of the v.
Related formsclaim·a·ble, adjectiveclaim·less, adjectivemis·claim, verb (used with object)non·claim·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·claim, verb (used with object)pre·claim, verb (used with object), nounsu·per·claim, nounun·claimed, adjectiveun·claim·ing, adjective

Synonyms for claim

Synonym study

1. See demand. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for claim

Contemporary Examples of claim

Historical Examples of claim

British Dictionary definitions for claim


verb (mainly tr)

to demand as being due or as one's property; assert one's title or right tohe claimed the record
(takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to assert as a fact; maintain against denialhe claimed to be telling the truth
to call for or need; deservethis problem claims our attention
to takethe accident claimed four lives


an assertion of a right; a demand for something as due
an assertion of something as true, real, or factualhe made claims for his innocence
a right or just title to something; basis for demanda claim to fame
lay claim to or stake a claim to to assert one's possession of or right to
anything that is claimed, esp in a formal or legal manner, such as a piece of land staked out by a miner
law a document under seal, issued in the name of the Crown or a court, commanding the person to whom it is addressed to do or refrain from doing some specified actformer name writ 1
  1. a demand for payment in connection with an insurance policy, etc
  2. the sum of money demanded
Derived Formsclaimable, adjectiveclaimer, noun

Word Origin for claim

C13: from Old French claimer to call, appeal, from Latin clāmāre to shout
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for claim

c.1300, "to call, call out; to ask or demand by virtue of right or authority," from accented stem of Old French clamer "to call, name, describe; claim; complain; declare," from Latin clamare "to cry out, shout, proclaim," from PIE *kele- (2) "to shout," imitative (cf. Sanskrit usakala "cock," literally "dawn-calling;" Latin calare "to announce solemnly, call out;" Middle Irish cailech "cock;" Greek kalein "to call," kelados "noise," kledon "report, fame;" Old High German halan "to call;" Old English hlowan "to low, make a noise like a cow;" Lithuanian kalba "language"). Related: Claimed; claiming.

Meaning "to maintain as true" is from 1864; specific sense "to make a claim" (on an insurance company) is from 1897. Claim properly should not stray too far from its true meaning of "to demand recognition of a right."


early 14c., "a demand of a right; right of claiming," from Old French claime "claim, complaint," from clamer (see claim (v.)). Meaning "thing claimed or demanded" is from 1792; specifically "piece of land allotted and taken" (chiefly U.S. and Australia, in reference to mining) is from 1851. Insurance sense is from 1878.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with claim


In addition to the idiom beginning with claim

  • claim check

also see:

  • lay claim to
  • stake a claim
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.