[ klaw-bak ]

  1. the recovery of previously dispensed or protected money or benefits through a contractual provision or tax law, typically triggered to counter a shortfall in financial performance or offset a liability (often used attributively): One executive’s clawback exceeded fifty million dollars.Most public companies have clawback provisions, but boards choose not to invoke them.

verb phraseclaw back [klaw-bak] /ˈklɔ ˈbæk/
  1. to require the return of (money or benefits): The government will claw back subsidy payments from households in the higher of the two income brackets.

  2. to recover (a previously held asset or status) with substantial effort: The reigning champions were unable to claw back a playoff berth after their dismal regular season.

Origin of clawback

First recorded in 1950–55; def. 1 derives from the verb phrase claw back (in the sense “to take back by great effort over a period of time”)

Words Nearby clawback Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use clawback in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for claw back

claw back

verb(tr, adverb)
  1. to get back (something) with difficulty

  2. to recover (a sum of money), esp by taxation or a penalty

  1. the recovery of a sum of money, esp by taxation or a penalty

  2. the sum so recovered

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