[ ri-kleym ]
See synonyms for reclaim 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

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

  • These bogs are of all depths from a few inches to thirty or forty feet, though the very shallow have generally been reclaimed.

    Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
  • To the condition of a people keeping covenant, the seed of Jacob yet to be reclaimed, as chosen of God will be called.

  • It must be acknowledged that he reclaimed nearly the whole of Asia from idolatry.

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 1 (of 10) | Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
  • It seems incomprehensible that these children should not be reclaimed, still more incomprehensible that no one seeks to do it.

    Friend Mac Donald | Max O'Rell
  • To protect it until it could be reclaimed, Emperor Alexander bought the treasure and took it to Russia.

    Ways of War and Peace | Delia Austrian

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