[ kleym ]
See synonyms for: claimclaimedclaimingclaims on

verb (used with object)
  1. to demand by or as by virtue of a right; demand as a right or as due: to claim an estate by inheritance.

  2. to assert and demand the recognition of (a right, title, possession, etc.); assert one's right to: to claim payment for services.

  1. to assert or maintain as a fact: She claimed that he was telling the truth.

  2. to require as due or fitting: to claim respect.

verb (used without object)
  1. to make or file a claim: to claim for additional compensation.

  1. a demand for something as due; an assertion of a right or an alleged right: He made unreasonable claims on the doctor's time.

  2. an assertion of something as a fact: He made no claims to originality.

  1. a right to claim or demand; a just title to something: His claim to the heavyweight title is disputed.

  2. something that is claimed, especially a piece of public land for which formal request is made for mining or other purposes.

  3. a request or demand for payment in accordance with an insurance policy, a workers' compensation law, etc.: We filed a claim for compensation from the company.

Idioms about claim

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

Origin of claim

First recorded in 1250–1300; (verb) Middle English claimen, from Anglo-French, Old French claimer, from Latin clāmāre “to cry out”; (noun) Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French cla(i)me; the noun is derivative of the verb

synonym study For claim

1. See demand.

word story For claim

The English noun claim comes from the verb, which in turn comes from the Old French verb clamer (stem claim- ) “to summon to law, affirm vigorously,” from the Latin verb clāmāre “to shout, accompany with shouts, shout the name of.”
The verb claim originally meant “to assert a legal right, to make a demand for something that is one’s due.” In the 19th century, claim developed a looser, less strict sense, especially in American usage, “to make an unsubstantiated statement; assert or maintain as a fact,” a meaning considered inelegant at that time but also one that occurs in the writings of Chaucer.
The legal term quitclaim meaning “to quit or give up a right or claim” dates from the 14th century in England. The noun claim meaning “a request or demand for payment in accordance with an insurance policy” dates from the 19th century.
Just as we intuitively understand the relationship between claim and quitclaim, it's pretty clear how the words acclaim, reclaim, proclaim, etc., are related in meaning and etymology to claim.

Other words for claim

Other words from claim

  • claim·a·ble, adjective
  • claimless, adjective
  • mis·claim, verb (used with object)
  • non·claim·a·ble, adjective
  • o·ver·claim, verb (used with object)
  • pre·claim, verb (used with object), noun
  • su·per·claim, noun
  • un·claimed, adjective
  • un·claim·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use claim in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for claim


/ (kleɪm) /

verb(mainly tr)
  1. to demand as being due or as one's property; assert one's title or right to: he claimed the record

  2. (takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to assert as a fact; maintain against denial: he claimed to be telling the truth

  1. to call for or need; deserve: this problem claims our attention

  2. to take: the accident claimed four lives

  1. an assertion of a right; a demand for something as due

  2. an assertion of something as true, real, or factual: he made claims for his innocence

  1. a right or just title to something; basis for demand: a claim to fame

  2. lay claim to or stake a claim to to assert one's possession of or right to

  3. anything that is claimed, esp in a formal or legal manner, such as a piece of land staked out by a miner

  4. 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 act: former name writ 1

    • a demand for payment in connection with an insurance policy, etc

    • the sum of money demanded

Origin of claim

C13: from Old French claimer to call, appeal, from Latin clāmāre to shout

Derived forms of claim

  • claimable, adjective
  • claimer, noun

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

Other 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.