Definition of reclaim in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈkleɪm/


[with object]
1Retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of: you can reclaim £25 of the £435 deducted when Dennis emerged I reclaimed my room
More example sentences
  • Forging a reputation as a research scientist is hard enough; reclaiming a lost reputation is even harder.
  • Then my husband goes and beats my high score and every competitive bone in my body ignites with a kind of ferocious need to reclaim my lost advantage.
  • What is more, in view of lengthy procedures and high costs, very few people will choose to litigate to reclaim lost property.
get back, claim back, have returned, recover, take back, regain, retrieve, recoup
rare recuperate
1.1 dated Redeem (someone) from a state of vice; reform: societies for reclaiming beggars and prostitutes
More example sentences
  • Even in the most affectionate representations, he must be reformed and reclaimed by society and domesticity by play's end.
  • He is still heavily involved in Mahi Tahi, a Trust working to reclaim Maori prisoners by linking them to their racial traditions.
  • Candid about her own journey to reclaim God's woman within, she makes readers feel she walks with them as they journey toward inner peace and joy.
save, rescue, redeem, win back;
1.2 archaic Tame or civilize (an animal or person): allow a week or ten days for reclaiming the bird
More example sentences
  • Now seven months old, Sam is a very healthy and robust dog, showing that even the most scruffy and mangy animal can be reclaimed and rehabilitated.
2Bring (waste land or land formerly under water) under cultivation: much of the Camargue has now been reclaimed (as adjective reclaimed) reclaimed land
More example sentences
  • The land was reclaimed from the waters in the 1950s when flood defences were constructed.
  • The Department of Agriculture pledged up to €100,000 to farmers to reclaim land, build farm buildings and replace dead livestock.
  • That all changed in the 1950s when the Jewish National Fund drained the lake and swamps and reclaimed the land for agriculture.
2.1Recover (material) for reuse; recycle: a sufficient weight of plastic could easily be reclaimed
More example sentences
  • It is often cheaper, ecologically sounder and more energy-efficient to re-use reclaimed materials rather than manufacture products from new.
  • The recycler also reclaims the glass and metal found in the thousands of burned-out bulbs the refinery replaces each year.
  • She may strip reclaimed materials down to the base metal, and weave them into her designs to make exclusive products.


[mass noun]
The action or process of reclaiming or being reclaimed: VAT reclaim
More example sentences
  • Through this massive process of reclaim, they have effectively (as Kenneth pointed out in his case) stifled all criticism of the company on the Internet.
  • He faded, understandably, in the second half but by then he had wrenched the game beyond Celtic's reclaim.



Pronunciation: /rɪˈkleɪməb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Lately, when designers speak of using ‘green’ materials, they usually are not referring to a color scheme, but rather to the use of reclaimable, recycled or sustainable materials.
  • It is important to note that some training costs can be reclaimed if the course is officially accredited, in which case up to 70 per cent may be reclaimable.
  • This amount (less VAT) is reclaimable through capital expenditures.


Example sentences
  • Don't call them reclaimers: call them vandals with fork-lift trucks.
  • Now Eddie's garden stretches across two acres, and is adorned with an array of unusual trees, shrubs and plants which he has picked up pursuing his hobby as a reclaimer.


Middle English (used in falconry in the sense 'recall'): from Old French reclamer, from Latin reclamare 'cry out against', from re- 'back' + clamare 'to shout'.

  • claim from [Middle English]:

    Latin clamare ‘to call out’ is the base of English claim. It also gives us acclaim (early 17th century) from ad- ‘to’ and clamare ‘to shout’, and reclaim (Middle English). This was first used as a falconry term in the sense ‘recall’. The sense ‘make land suitable for cultivation’ is recorded from the mid 18th century. Clamour (Late Middle English) comes from the same source.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|claim

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