[ ri-kleym ]
See synonyms for: reclaimre-claimedre-claimingre-claims on

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.

  1. to bring back to a preferable manner of living, sound principles, ideas, etc.

  2. to tame.

verb (used without object)
  1. to protest; object.

  1. reclamation: beyond reclaim.

Origin of reclaim

First recorded in 1250–1300; (verb) Middle English recla(i)men, from Old French reclamer (tonic stem reclaim-), from Latin reclāmāre “to cry out against,” equivalent to re- + clāmāre “to claim”; (noun) Middle English reclaim(e), from Old French reclaim, reclam, derivative of reclamer; see re-, claim

synonym study For reclaim

2. See recover.

Other words for reclaim

Other words from reclaim

  • re·claim·a·ble, adjective
  • re·claim·er, noun
  • non·re·claim·a·ble, adjective
  • un·re·claim·a·ble, adjective

Words that may be confused with reclaim

Words Nearby reclaim

Other definitions for re-claim (2 of 2)

[ 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.

Origin of re-claim

1400–50; late Middle English. See re-, claim

Words that may be confused with re-claim Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use reclaim in a sentence

  • And there rose before her clearly that the only way to reclaim him was to put a purpose into his aimless life.

    The Woman Gives | Owen Johnson
  • When he came of age he set forth, with much good advice from Chiron, to reclaim his father's kingdom.

    Greek Sculpture | Estelle M. Hurll
  • And so the lad only wants payment of the siller due from us, in order to reclaim his paternal estate?

    The Fortunes of Nigel | Sir Walter Scott
  • Petticoated porters thrust metal numbers at us so that we may be able to recognise them again and reclaim our luggage safely.

  • She stretched forth a hand as if to reclaim her Bumper, but the lady moved away with her purchase under her arm.

    Bumper, The White Rabbit | George Ethelbert Walsh

British Dictionary definitions for reclaim


/ (rɪˈkleɪm) /

  1. to claim back: to reclaim baggage

  2. to convert (desert, marsh, waste ground, etc) into land suitable for growing crops

  1. to recover (useful substances) from waste products

  2. to convert (someone) from sin, folly, vice, etc

  3. falconry to render (a hawk or falcon) tame

  1. the act of reclaiming or state of being reclaimed

Origin of reclaim

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

Derived forms of reclaim

  • reclaimable, adjective
  • reclaimant or reclaimer, 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