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reclaim

[ri-kleym]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bring (uncultivated areas or wasteland) into a condition for cultivation or other use.
  2. to recover (substances) in a pure or usable form from refuse, discarded articles, etc.
  3. to bring back to a preferable manner of living, sound principles, ideas, etc.
  4. to tame.
  5. re-claim.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to protest; object.
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noun
  1. reclamation: beyond reclaim.
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Origin of reclaim

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English recla(i)men < Old French reclamer (tonic stem reclaim-) < Latin reclāmāre to cry out against, equivalent to re- re- + clāmāre to claim; (noun) Middle English reclaim(e) < Old French reclaim, reclam, derivative of reclamer
Related formsre·claim·a·ble, adjectivere·claim·er, nounnon·re·claim·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·claim·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedre-claim reclaim

Synonyms

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2. regain, restore. See recover.

re-claim

[ree-kleym]
verb (used with object)
  1. to claim or demand the return or restoration of, as a right, possession, etc.
  2. to claim again.
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Also reclaim.

Origin of re-claim

1400–50; late Middle English. See re-, claim
Can be confusedre-claim reclaim
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for reclaim

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Now, there is nothing a woman likes so much as to reclaim a man.

  • Yet it must be said too, that if there be a woman in the world that can reclaim him, it is you.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • This man did his best to reclaim young Badman, and was particularly kind to him.

    Bunyan

    James Anthony Froude

  • His friends at Government House, bewildered at this change in him, sought to reclaim him.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • I cannot tell how she feels toward him; I know she has often tried to reclaim him from his deviltry.

    Whispering Smith

    Frank H. Spearman


British Dictionary definitions for reclaim

reclaim

verb (tr)
  1. to claim backto reclaim baggage
  2. to convert (desert, marsh, waste ground, etc) into land suitable for growing crops
  3. to recover (useful substances) from waste products
  4. to convert (someone) from sin, folly, vice, etc
  5. falconry to render (a hawk or falcon) tame
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noun
  1. the act of reclaiming or state of being reclaimed
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Derived Formsreclaimable, adjectivereclaimant or reclaimer, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French réclamer, from Latin reclāmāre to cry out, protest, from re- + 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 reclaim

v.

early 14c., "call back a hawk to the glove," from Old French reclamer "to call upon, invoke; claim; seduce; to call back a hawk" (12c.) and directly from Latin reclamare "cry out against, contradict, protest, appeal," from re- "opposite, against" (see re-) + clamare "cry out" (see claim (v.)).

"Call back a hawk," hence "to make tame" (mid-15c.), "subdue, reduce to obedience, make amenable to control" (late 14c.). In many Middle English uses with no sense of return or reciprocation. Meaning "revoke" (a grant, gift, etc.) is from late 15c. That of "recall (someone) from an erring course to a proper state" is mid-15c. Sense of "get back by effort" might reflect influence of claim. Meaning "bring waste land into useful condition fit for cultivation" first attested 1764, probably on notion of "reduce to obedience." Related: Reclaimed; reclaiming.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper