Definition of dewclaw in English:


Syllabification: dew·claw
Pronunciation: /ˈd(y)o͞oˌklô


  • 1A rudimentary inner toe present in some dogs.
    More example sentences
    • Look for the presence of a dewclaw, an extra digit on the paw.
    • If dewclaws are present on your Shih Tzu, trim the dewclaws as well.
    • One of her dewclaws had slashed diagonally across my forehead, eyebrow, nose, and cheek.
  • 1.1A false hoof on an animal such as a deer, which is formed by its rudimentary side toes.
    More example sentences
    • A fully mature buck (31/2 years old or older) will leave a track measuring 5 to 6 inches from toe tip to the back of the dewclaw (hoof length from 3 to 31/4 inches).
    • Since then I’ve seen a countless number of does that have left hoof drag marks and dewclaw prints in the snow.


late 16th century: apparently from the nouns dew and claw.

More definitions of dewclaw

Definition of dewclaw in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw